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EX-F1 Drivers Blundell Cheever & Johansson to Race Audi R8 LMS at Spa - Web Exclusive

The British-based team returns to the prestigious Belgian race on July 30-31 with an expanded three-car Audi R8 LMS entry.

Feb 22, 2011

Former Grand Prix drivers Mark Blundell (GB), Eddie Cheever (USA) and Stefan Johansson (Sweden) will return to the Audi R8 LMS cockpit for a second consecutive year when they contest the Spa 24 Hours this summer for Audi customer team United Autosports.

Eurp_1102_01_o+blundell_cheever_johansson_race_audi_r8_lms_spa+audi_r8 Photo 2/3   |   EX-F1 Drivers Blundell Cheever & Johansson to Race Audi R8 LMS at Spa - Web Exclusive

The British-based team returns to the prestigious Belgian race on July 30-31 with an expanded three-car Audi R8 LMS entry, bidding for GT3 class honors.

2018 Audi R8
$138,700 Base Model (MSRP) 14/25 MPG Fuel Economy

Blundell, aged 44, achieved third in class last year, along with former Indy 500 race winner Cheever (53), while Los Angeles-based Johansson (54), steered his V10-engined Audi home to fourth place.

"Racing at Spa last year was a huge amount of fun while I was very impressed with United Autosports," confirmed Blundell, who scored three podiums from 61 Grand Prix starts. "The team turned out superbly prepared Audi racecars and it was fantastic to finish on the GT3 podium.

"But I believe there is some more to come and that is why I'm returning. I've already finished fourth with the team at Daytona last month and I'm very excited about going back to Spa to compete again in the Audi R8 LMS, which is a stunning sportscar."

Fellow Le Mans 24 Hour race winner Johansson, who raced Audi sports-prototypes at Le Mans and nowadays is a keen artist, watch designer and collector, is also relishing contesting the twice-around-the-clock event again - his 20th career 24-hour race.

Stefan remarked: "I am excited to join United Autosports and the Audi family again for the Spa 24 Hours. The experience last year was beyond my expectations. I firmly believe with what we learned the first time around, should put us in a very good position to not only equal but also improve on our 2010 performance.

"The Audi R8 LMS is such a 'user friendly' sportscar. I thoroughly enjoyed my time behind the wheel last year, marking a return for me racing an Audi after my time with the R8C and R8 sports-prototypes from 1999."

Eurp_1102_02_o+blundell_cheever_johansson_race_audi_r8_lms_spa+audi_driver Photo 3/3   |   EX-F1 Drivers Blundell Cheever & Johansson to Race Audi R8 LMS at Spa - Web Exclusive

For Cheever too, it's a case of "unfinished business", the American excited about driving the 190mph Audi once more around one of the world's most "majestic" motor racing tracks.

Eddie remarked: "I'm very pleased to be returning to drive at Spa again. Having led with only a few hours remaining, last year's race didn't end quite the way we'd hoped. We were all disappointed on the rostrum not to have won, but in reality third place, and a fourth for the 'sister' United Autosports Audi, was a great achievement.

"We go back hoping to close some unfinished business and I'm sure the team will return stronger. Personally, I hope it rains the entire race... having experienced those conditions last year, there's nothing quite like driving an Audi in the wet at Spa at 3am!"

Class victory cruelly eluded the team during the closing stages of its maiden 24-hour race last year but nevertheless it claimed excellent third and fourth places in the GT3 classification.

With the faster GT2 cars not permitted to compete in this year's race, the Audi R8 LMS GT3 sports cars have a shot of recording an overall victory on this occasion. United Autosports achieved the highest-placed positions in the annual Belgian race last year.

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