06 October, 2014
McLaren GT factory driver, Rob Bell, rejoined Street and Racing Technology (SRT) Motorsports this weekend to compete in Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. The team took the 2014 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTLM driver and team championships at the season finale.
Rob joined SRT Motorsports regular drivers, Jonathan Bomarito and Dominik Farnbacher in the team’s No.93 Dodge Viper GTS-R, with the trio sealing the team title with a sixth place finish.
The practice sessions were a chance for Rob to re-acclimatise himself with the Viper, with his last run out in the car having been back in March, when he enjoyed a podium finish at Sebring 12 Hours. Over the course of the practice sessions the No.93 improved its lap times and took this momentum through to qualifying with Jonathan putting the car fourth in class for the grid.
Jonathan started the race with the No.93 running in the lead pack through most of the race and climbing to third place by mid-distance. In the closing stages Jonathan, Dominik and Rob had to slow their pace to conserve the gearbox, having tried to repair the problem during a pitstop. The team also had an elongated pitstop with a faulty airtank during a tyre change. Rob double-stinted after five hours of running and was back in the car for the finish, playing his role in the team’s efforts. After ten hours of racing the car crossed the line in sixth place to capture the team title.
Rob said after the weekend, “It was a tough race, with the need to balance running clean and making it to the end, but also to try and win the race. It was looking possible until we had our gearbox problem that put us a few spots down. We knew it was going to be difficult to recover from there and the priority was then to get the car home.
The team deserved their championship titles and I’m proud to have been part of it by joining them for the longer endurance races. It’s been a pleasure to work with all the guys and the drivers and it’s great for me to share in their success.”
Rob heads straight off to Shanghai for the penultimate round of the GT Asia Cup Series, racing with Clearwater Racing in the team’s McLaren MP4-12C next weekend.