America's Zak Brown and Briton Mark Blundell will contest two of the final three Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 races, the team has announced. Brown and Blundell will share the United Autosports with Michael Shank Racing No. 23 Ford-Riley in the Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen (Aug. 12-13) and the EMCO Gears Classic series finale staged at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Sept. 16-17).
The two-race program marks a return to the 12-series for the United Autosports entry, which also contested the opening two races of the 2011 season. Brown and Blundell, together with Martin Brundle and Mark Patterson, scored a fourth place in the Rolex 24 at Daytona (Jan. 29-30) while Blundell and Michael Valiante finished sixth in the Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead (March 5).
“I am so looking forward to racing with my good friend Zak as my co-driver again in the Riley," said F1 and CART veteran Blundell. "He is not to be underestimated behind the wheel. It'll also be good to be back with the Michael Shank Racing crew after Daytona and Miami. I've missed the Grand-Am series. I know Mid-Ohio from my Indy Car days but Watkins Glen will be a learning curve. Having started the Grand-Am season and to be there at the finish is the icing on the cake for my 2011 season.”
United Autosports chairman and co-owner Brown is contesting the FIA GT3 European Championship for a second consecutive year. He and Blundell are among a stellar 12-driver lineup competing in the Total 12 Hours of Spa in Belgium (July 30-31) that also includes Formula 1 and 24 Hours of Le Mans winners Stefan Johansson, plus 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever, Johnny Herbert and two-time Indy 500 race winner Arie Luyendyk.