Young British Sportscar prospect Joe Osborne has been snapped up by the Anglo-American United Autosports Team for a full FIA GT3 European Championship campaign next year.
Now just 21, Osborne cut his racing teeth during sporadic outings in British GT4 and FIA GT3 Euro this year. Embarking on his first full GT3 season in 2011, he’ll co-drive an Audi R8 LMS. His fellow pilot, Mark Patterson, is the American who tied equal second with 2010 United Autosports co-driver Michael Guasch (USA) in the FIA championship’s Audi Manufacturer’s Cup.
United Autosports’ Chairman & Co-Owner Zak Brown (USA) continues for a second consecutive year driving the “sister” Audi with Matthew Bell, the Briton who celebrated his 21st birthday on November 5th 2010.
After winning the 2004 British Junior Kart TKM Championship, Osborne moved on to single-seaters courtesy of a scholarship from Formula BMW UK. However, budget constraints obliged him to switch his attention to sports cars, winning the European GT4 Championship last year.
Joe, who was made a British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star in 2009, made his FIA GT3 European Championship début this year, contesting three rounds and recording two top-five finishes (Silverstone & Jarama) in a Porsche 911 GT3R.
United Autosports has already announced a two-car Audi entry in the 2011 British GT Championship with Bell and Guasch linking up with Audi’s former British Touring Car Championship race winner John Bintcliffe (England) co-driving with fellow Yorkshireman Jay Palmer (England). Draper Tools will be a team partner for both the FIA and BGT campaigns.
Bedford-born Joe lives in Olney, Bucks. He says, “I’m excited to be joining United Autosports and very much looking forward to racing the Audi R8 LMS. It was on the wrong side of the Balance of Performance calculations until the final four races this year so I’m hopeful we’ll be competitive from the first race next season. I will have a pre-season testing program for the first time in my career which I’m already itching to start.”Tags: 2011 FIA GT3, FIA GT3, GT3, Joe Osborne, Mark Patterson, Michael Guasch, United Autosports