11 June, 2015
Leading sportscar driver, Rob Bell, returns to Le Mans for his seventh attempt at winning the world-famous Le Mans 24 Hours race. Racing with Aston Martin Racing (AMR) in the No.97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE the Lancashire-based driver only has one goal and that is to stand on the podium at the Le Sarthe circuit.
Rob returns to the hallowed Le Mans circuit with Aston Martin, having driven in the race with the team two years ago, which was his previous appearance having missed the 2014 running of the race. The McLaren GT factory driver also drove with the team earlier this year in the Spa round of the World Endurance Championship to re-familarise himself with the car and the team, with a fifth place finish at the Belgian track.
Driving with regular Aston Martin Racing drivers, Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke, Rob will be racing with two racing friends who have all driven together on a number of occasions through their careers. The trio are set to be formidable opposition for the race, with the GTE PRO class featuring a line up of Ferrari 458s, Porsche 911s, Chevrolet Corvettes and three Aston Martins from the AMR stable.
Rob and his team mates also have the honour of driving a 24 Hours of Le Mans art car, with the No.97 entry being given a unique livery by artist Tobias Rehberger. The bespoke creation with abstract art and optical effects gives the illusion of movement and speed, even when static.
Rob previews the race saying, “Le Mans 24 Hours has to be the highlight of the year for any sportscar driver. There is no other race like it and with it’s week long build-up, there’s an uncomparable festival feeling with a fantastic atmosphere which just gets more highly charged as you count down to the start. Having the honour of driving the art car also adds to the excitement this year as we’re getting even more attention from the fans. The car looks amazing and if it races as fast as it looks we’ll be fine.
“We can definitely win the race”, adds Rob, “but as we all know, it’s very difficult and not many achieve it. I really want to add one of the coveted trophies to my cabinet so I’m hoping that this can be my year. My best finish so far is fourth, I hope I can do better than that. We have all the ingredients needed – a trio of experienced drivers, a highly professional team and a quick car. However, I’ve also seen the forecast and it’s very mixed. Intermittent showers are very difficult for Le Mans as the lap is so long. So if you’re on the wrong tyre at the start of the lap, it’s a long way back to the pits. With the track covering such a distance you also find the track can be wet in parts and dry in others, so again it can be very tricky. Bring on Saturday and let’s get racing!”