Bateman prepares for GT start

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CHARLES Bateman is gearing up for the start of the 2012 Avon Tyres British GT Championship over the Easter weekend.

He will join teammate Matt Bell in action at Cheshire’s Oulton Park.

Competing with Leeds-based United Autosports in the team’s Pilgrim Food Service-sponsored Audi R8 LMS GT3, both Bell (22) and Bateman (25) are proven British GT race winners, both taking victories in the series last year.

“We tested at Oulton Park last Friday and it went well,” said Bateman.

“I feel very settled with the team and I’m looking forward to working with all the guys at United Autosports over the coming season.

“I think Matt and I will work well together in getting the best out of the car.

“My first impressions of the Audi are extremely promising.

“Having had only a short amount of time behind the wheel I already have confidence in what I believe the car can do.

“I’m really looking forward to the Easter weekend at Oulton Park.”

Boston’s Bateman took victory in the second race at Oulton Park and also at Donington Park last year.

Bateman, who started in the Caterham Academy in 2004 and spent the next three years competing in the various Caterham derivatives, changed to sportscars from 2007 to 2010, racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup and taking several podiums along the way.

Last year, he won the two British GT races in a Ferrari, so this will be his first season in the successful race-winning United Autosports’ Audi R8 LMS GT3.

Organiser, SRO Motorsports Group, has a seven-meeting calendar scheduled for 2012 featuring the UK’s best circuits, Oulton Park, Rockingham, Snetterton and the Grand Prix circuits of Brands Hatch, Silverstone and Donington Park. Round two in May takes place on the Nürburgring German Grand Prix circuit.