10 February, 2016
Matt Bell, Guy Smith and Steven Kane take third place at Mount Panorama
Matt Bell and his Bentley team-mates, Guy Smith and Steven Kane, tamed the mountain and took a hard-fought third place at the 2016 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour last weekend.
The race takes place at Mount Panorama, a circuit for the brave and the bold, and after being unceremoniously pushed out of podium contention last year, Bell is delighted to be bringing home the silverware this time around.
The Bentley Boys qualified the No.10 Bentley Continental GT3 in seventh place for the 12-hour race. Smith was behind the wheel for the start of the race and he immediately began the push to make up positions. The pace was fast and furious but the Bentley made steady progress up the order, even managing to shake off a puncture at the halfway point – the team got the car back out on the lead lap, right into the heart of the battle.
"The race was like a game of chess,” said Bell. “By the half way point there were really only four cars in the race but all on different strategies and it stayed that way until the end. It was a close fight the whole way through the second half and all three of us in the No.10 Bentley were always in a battle.
“It's easily the most intense endurance race I've ever done,” he continued. “I took the lead in my final stint and held it till I pitted after a great scrap with a Mercedes and the Nissan. It was a great experience to lead a major international race driving for Bentley so I really enjoyed that phase of the race.”
The No.10 Bentley took third place at the flag after the winning McLaren and second-placed Nissan leap-frogged them in the final pit stop, their pace being just too strong to match on this occasion.
"It was very satisfying to achieve a podium for such an incredible brand like Bentley,” concluded Bell. “To share it with two of the best drivers in the world as my team mates made it extra special. The team worked incredibly hard all weekend and deserved a good result. Hopefully we can go one or two steps better in the future!"