Motorsport News - Sportscar
Bateman takes McLaren to Victory at Snetterton
7th August 2012
On their first Avon Tyres British GT Championship outing in the car Charles Bateman and Matt Bell scored a comfortable victory at Snetterton in the United Autosports McLaren MP4-12C GT3.
A rain soaked Snetterton created problems on Saturday cutting short free practice and cancelling qualifying. The drivers times in free practice produced grid places of 4th for Charles and 9th for team mate Matt.
Bateman and Bells win makes it seven different winners in seven races in the British GT Championship, repeating United Autosports feat from the 2011 season when Bell and Michael Guasch scored the teams first win in GT3 competition, then driving an Audi.
On dry track on Sunday, United Autosports win owed much to Batemans opening stint in Race 1. In the Boston racer's first race in the car with only ten minutes on an airfield worth of experience coming into Saturdays practice session Bateman took only two laps of the Snetterton 300 circuit to move from fourth on the grid into the lead, passing the Beechdean Aston Martin in the infield section of the circuit.
Having taken the lead Bateman was able to stretch his lead quickly over the Aston Martin, a near eight second gulf opening up back after just five laps. That lead only grew when the Aston Martin spun at the Montreal hairpin falling back to seventh behind a developing battle for second as a handful of cars backed up behind a now second placed Porsche.
As time approached the pitstop window Batemans lead had swelled to more than 34 seconds over the Porsche and Ferrari running in second and third place. Charles handed the car over to his team mate Matt with ongoing braking issues. Matt eventually took the chequered flag with a 16 second lead over the rest of the field.
Race 2 saw the United Autosports McLaren MP4-12C GT3 car retire after 4 laps with the brake problem making it unsafe to continue.
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