Blundell, Valiante to Co-Drive in Grand Prix of Miami

Mark Blundell (GB) and Michael Valiante (CAN) team together in an exciting line-up for the first time in a late United Autosports with Michael Shank Racing Ford/Riley entry at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday (March 5) in the Grand Prix of Miami, the second round of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.

The #23 Ford-Riley achieved a magnificent fourth place finish in the season-opening 49th Rolex 24 At Daytona which featured Blundell – United Autosports' maiden North American race for present day racecars – while Rolex Series race winner Valiante netted 10th place in a similar MSR run Ford/Riley.

Blundell and Valiante, the latter having finished fifth in the corresponding 2006 race, contest the Grand Prix of Miami at the 2.3-mile, 11-turn Homestead-Miami combined speedway/road course. It is considered to be the toughest event on the entire GRAND-AM calendar due to a necessity for prolonged high-power and with the race run in intense midday Florida sunshine.

"I'm very happy that we have the opportunity to race the No. 23 Michael Shank Racing with United Autosports entry once again at Homestead," said Mike Shank. "Having two drivers with the speed, experience and star power that Mark and Michael bring is just fantastic. This is a partnership that I'm personally very excited about, and we had a great first race together with our run to fourth in the 24. I'm very pleased that we were able to continue with this program for Homestead, and I'm optimistic that we will see this car racing in the Rolex Series a few more times this year."

The further expansion into GRAND-AM racing by United Autosports adds to the team's existing North American racing forays. United Autosports' Chairman and Co-Owner Zak Brown is also a co-founder of the rapidly rising Legends of Motorsports historic racing series.

From its US hub in Indianapolis, United Autosports fields a full fleet of iconic racing machines on the Legends tours. This compliments the full-season efforts the team campaigns in British GT and FIA GT3 European Championships from its UK headquarters in Leeds, England. This in addition to its Anglo-American ownership contributes to United Autosports unique business and racing structure.

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