Brendon Hartley’s endurance racing year will move from Daytona to Bathurst next weekend as he joins United Autosports for the annual 12-hour race at the legendary Mount Panorama circuit.
The 23-year old New Zealander will share the cockpit of the team’s Audi R8 LMS ultra with US-based South African Mark Patterson and Hong Kong-based Alain Li.
Hartley’s single seater background has served him well with his current role as a Mercedes F1 test driver and whilst in 2012 he campaigned the Murphy Prototypes LMP2 Oreca Nissan, and started this season in a Riley Ford Daytona Prototype for Starworks Motorsport at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, this will be his first race in a GT car, and his first at Bathurst too.
Alain Li: “It is great to be back behind the wheel with United at such a brilliant event. Mark and I have driven together here and in Spa before and he is a great teammate and fun to be with off the track as well.
“I am looking forward to Brendon joining us. He has an impressive cv and it’s always beneficial having someone of his caliber to work with. It will be my first time in a car since I won the Ferrari Challenge support event at the Singapore Grand Prix last year so I’m hoping that we can challenge for a podium.”
Mark Patterson: ”Teaming up with United Autosports and my reliable partner Alain Li again at one of the world’s most challenging race tracks is a real thrill. Last year we weren’t able to finish the race despite some solid early stints, so seeing this one through in a field twice as deep is our primary objective.
“Promoter James O’Brien has worked hard on promoting this event, travelling the world, and this deep field shows his effort has paid off. Can’t wait to hear that eternal racing call to duty: “Gentlemen, start your intestines!!!!!”.
Brendan Hartley: “As a Kiwi I have always wanted to race at Bathurst so I am very excited that I have this opportunity. It will also be my debut in a GT car with the Audi so I am looking forward the challenge. United Autosports are a top professional team so I’m sure we can get up to speed quickly and be in a position to aim for a top result. I’m really looking forward to it”.
Richard Dean: Bathurst is one of the most iconic race circuits anywhere in the world, and the 12-hour race is now a major fixture on the calendar For United Autosports this is a very important race and we are very proud to be part of this great event.”
Zak Brown: “ We are delighted to have Brendan as part of the driver line-up for Bathurst. To be attracting a current Formula One star to race our Audi GT3 at such a great event is a testament to the strength of our team”.