10 March, 2009
Defending GT2 champion, Rob Bell, was back in action this week at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France as preparations for the 2009 Le Mans Series kicked off at the official pre-season test. Rob Bell, driving alongside Gianmaria Bruni and Tim Sugden in the JMW Motorsport team, was behind the wheel of the team’s 2009 spec Ferrari F430 GT2 contender, with the team ending fourth fastest in class after the two day test.
Returning to the Series for his fourth season, the test was the first time Bell had driven the full 2009 spec JMW Motorsport Ferrari F430 GT.
Bell commented, “The test was productive for us, we worked on the car set up with the new Dunlop tyre compounds and we made some encouraging progress. The car has been developed to meet the new 2009 regulations, as well as having all the latest updates from Ferrari, which has included aerodynamic modifications and a new engine.
“The regulations for this season have changed quite significantly to try and slow the cars down, which has potentially hurt us more than some of the other marques at this stage. We need to develop our straight line performance, and this is always balanced by our speed through the corners, but for a first time out this season we have a benchmark to use.
“Although the team is new to the LMS this season, we all have plenty of experience with the car and working together, so we have a strong package to contest the championship again. We certainly weren’t far off the pace this week and I think we can be very competitive this season.”
Bell will race for the JMW Motorsport team in both the Le Mans Series and the Le Mans 24 Hour race this season.
On Saturday Bell will travel ‘across the pond’ to America for the first of two USA races that he will content this year. Bell will race for the Drayson racing team in the No. 007 Aston Martin Vantage GT2 at the 12 hours of Sebring on the 21 March.