Mark Blundell to make return to motorsport action

22nd January 2013

Formula One (F1) great Mark Blundell has announced that he will be competing in a full season in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship later this year.

The 46-year-old will line up alongside Richard Meins in the UK's premier endurance racing championship, in which he will expand on a motorsport career that already includes impressive outings in F1 and the NASCAR Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.

Blundell will compete in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship as part of the United Autosports squad – a team which he partnered with when finishing in fourth position in the Daytona prototype class of the 2011 Rolex 24 competition.

Two years later, the Barnet-born racer announced at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham that he will make his return to the racetrack by competing in the endurance racing competition inside a McLaren MP4-14C.

Speaking at the Midlands-based event, Blundell stated: "I would like to thank Zak Brown and Richard Dean for giving me the opportunity and Viglen Computers for the support this season, along with my teammate Richard Meins.

I expect us to be a strong combination armed with the McLaren MP4 -12C GT3 car. The British series is getting stronger by the season and I hope that we will be able to entertain the race fans."

Blundell first caught the attention of motorsport critics when he lined up for the Brabham-Yamaha team on the starting grid at the US Grand Prix during the 1991 F1 season.

By the end of this campaign, the 46-year-old had managed to achieve a sixth place finish in that year's Belgian Grand Prix – a feat which also gave the Brabham-Yamaha outfit their first-ever points in the prestigious motorsport.

In a previous interview with Hertfordshire Life, Blundell recalled: "It was a massive thing. For the team and for me as a driver, it was as big as winning a Grand Prix. The actual rewards back for it were small but for a morale boost it was huge."

By the time that Blundell hung up his boots in F1 at the end of the 1995 season, the Brit had took part in 61 races and achieved three podium finishes – two in the 1993 campaign and one in the 1994 season.

It was not only in the F1 scene where the Barnet-born racer was plying his trade though, as Blundell was also successful in finishing in first position while competing in a Peugeot 905 Evo 1B in the gruelling 1992 24 Hours of Le Mans competition.

Fast forward to the present day and the Brit is once again hoping to get back to the top of his game in the motorsport world, with the assistance of the United Autosports team.

"It's great to be part of the United Autosports team for 2013," Blundell explained. "I learnt my craft as a junior driver on many tracks that the championship competes on, so I am really looking forward to being back home.

"What makes it even more special is that I will be able to race in front of family and friends and the many loyal race fans who have supported me over the years."

It is the latter point that Blundell has been keen to express his delight for, noting at the Autosport International Show that "for me, it's about racing on home turf – what could be better? I can't wait to get the season underway".

The 2013 Avon Tyres British GT Championship gets underway at Oulton Park, in Cheshire, over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend between March 30th and April 1st.

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