Osborne on right track for GT3 glory

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OLNEY racing driver Joe Osborne has received a massive boost to his career after being snapped up by the Anglo-American United Autosports team for a full FIA GT3 European Championship campaign next year.

Osborne, 21, embarks on his first full GT3 season next May after sporadic outings in the British GT4 and FIA GT3 Euro competitions during 2010, and will co-drive an Audi R8 LMS with American Mark Patterson.

Osborne won the 2004 British Junior Kart TKM Championship before moving in to single-seaters courtesy of a scholarship from Formula BMW UK. But budget constraints saw him switch his attention to sports cars, winning the European GT4 Championship last year.

He was also made a British Racing Drivers’ Club Rising Star in 2009 and made his FIA GT3 Championship debut this year, contesting three rounds and recording two top-five finishes in a Porsche 911 GT3R.

“I’m excited to be joining United Autosports and very much looking forward to racing the Audi R8 LMS,” said the Olney driver.

“It was my intention to race with the team in 2010 but I couldn’t raise the funds. However, seeing them in action this season confirmed what I already knew in that it’s an ultra-professional outfit.

“I know many of the guys from my Ginetta days over the past three years and they have the same drive and passion to win as me - the single most critical thing.

“The European Championship is the premier GT3 series in the world and provides some of the best GT racing with so many manufacturers making it of huge interest to competitors and spectators. Racing on the very best European tracks in a series that offers live television for sponsors just emphasises the professionalism of the championship.”

Richard Dean, managing director and co-owner of United Autosports, said: “Joe deserves this chance. I’m a big fan of his after working with him when he won the 2009 European GT4 Championship. He will be a perfect fit for Mark and indeed the entire team.”