Motorsport: Grand Prix star Herbert set to race for Leeds team

Johnny Herbert.

Johnny Herbert.

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POPULAR English motor sports ace Johnny Herbert will make his debut in the Spa 24 Hours race this summer with the three-time Formula One Grand Prix winner representing Leeds-based United Autosports.

Herbert, 46, will join fellow former Le Mans 24 Hour race winners and GP drivers Mark Blundell (GB) and Stefan Johansson (Sweden) plus Indy 500 race victor Eddie Cheever (USA) in the Birstall-based United Autosports team’s bid for glory.

HerberT will be racing in a an Audi R8 LMS sports car in the Belgian “classic” on July 30 and 31 and cannot wait for the occasion to come around.

“I’ve never competed in the Spa 24 Hours so I’m really looking forward to that aspect as well as competing for United Autosports for the first time and reacquainting myself with Audi,” he said.

“I raced an Audi sports-prototype for a number of years.

“On my first test for United Autosports at Snetterton, I sampled the Audi R8 LMS for the very first time and it was just like driving and sitting in my favourite armchair – so smooth and easy to drive and with such nice power delivery.

“I’m very much looking forward to Spa.

“I attended last year’s Spa race for TV and it was good to see my old F1 buddies Mark, Stefan and Eddie all driving again.

“They did brilliantly well and it’s an absolute privilege for me now to be involved and joining up with these guys.”

Richard Dean, Managing Director & Co-Owner of United Autosports, added: “I have known Johnny since we were 13 and racing karts together – I didn’t get the chance to beat him too often – just the once I recall over a six-year period!

“So the opportunity to have him on our side rather than racing against us is a massive relief.

“If you talk to anybody who has worked with Johnny, or raced in the same team as him, they will tell you he is probably the most naturally talented driver they have ever seen.

“Adding a British former GP winner to the United Autosports Spa driver line-up underlines our serious desire to improve on our 2010 performance at Spa.”

Ollie Wilkinson.

Razor-sharp Wilkinson puts podium place at top of race agenda