09 November, 2015
McLaren GT factory driver, Rob Bell, took the GT victory in this weekend’s round of the Asian Le Mans Series. The second round of the Series was held at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, with Rob driving with Clearwater Racing and sharing driving duties with team mates Mok Weng Sun and Keita Sawa in the team’s McLaren 650S GT3. Finishing fourth overall and first in class, the team remain in the lead of the GT championship with two wins from two rounds of the series so far.
The Clearwater Racing McLaren 650S GT3 posted fourth fastest time in the GT category and ninth overall of the Asian Le Mans Series field in the opening practice session and eighth in class in the second session. They improved to third fastest in class in the final practice. The team showed its true colour in qualifying with Rob powering the car to class pole, a time set early in the session which proved unbeatable by the opposition. With fifth fastest time overall the Clearwater McLaren took a third row grid slot for the start of the second round of th2 1015/16 championship.
Rob said after qualifying, “ We opted to go out early as it was so hot and we wanted to try and have a clean track. It worked well as I did get two clear laps and got the best out of the car in the hot, humid conditions. I’m happy with my performance and beating some of the prototypes felt good too.”
Keito took the start for the race and was able to establish a good pace throughout his stint, holding the lead when he handed the car over to Mok Weng. The Singaporean driver maintained position, handing the car over to Rob for the final part of the race. Rob kept the car ahead of its rivals for the last hour of running, looking after the tyres and led the GT class across the finish line.
Rob said after the race, “After some rain showers it wasn’t as hot for the race as it had been earlier in the weekend. We had a good race today with some strong opposition and it’s great to have come out on top for our second win of the season. Tyre management was key for us and all three of us were able to drive to the maximum while also keeping an eye on tyre degradation. Overall it was a good weekend, with strong team work making sure we had good pitstops and ran consistently throughout the race.”
The Series moves on to Thailand, with a three hour race in Buriram early next year. Rob will rejoin Clearwater Racing for the event from 8th-10th January 2016.