12 January, 2012
Leading sportscar driver, Rob Bell, has joined McLaren GT as a works driver and will campaign one of the new MP4-12C GT3 race cars with a customer team this season. The multi-year deal is a significant move for the Le Mans Series title-winning driver, who has enjoyed successful campaigns with Ferrari and Aston Martin sportscars in previous years.
Bell is relishing the challenge ahead, saying, "I was invited to drive at the Spa 24 Hour race last year and was very impressed with the potential of this ground-breaking British sports racing car, the aspirations of the company as a manufacturer of luxury sportscars and the plans for its racing programme. I hope that joining the McLaren fold will give me the opportunity to work closely with the manufacturer in the coming years as well as being behind the wheel racing the MP4-12C GT3.
"With McLaren's history of success in motorsport and their ethos of being out there to win, I believe that I've linked with one of the most exciting companies within sportscar racing of this century. Of course the car was the most important consideration in my decision, but after driving at Spa I knew that it had all the ingredients to be a world-beater. It was still very young in its development when I drove it, but even then it showed it had the outright pace, the balance of the car was good and the level of performance showed there was plenty of potential.
Bell adds, "Getting behind the wheel and working with McLaren GT and a customer team to start developing the car is the challenge which I'm looking forward to and the season couldn't start soon enough for me. I'm keen to get immersed in the technologies and engineering of the car to fully appreciate its capabilities and extract the best from the car out on track."
The 12C GT3 is a unique technical concept in sportscar racing. It features McLaren's one-piece moulded carbon MonoCell chassis and technology normally reserved for Formula 1 race cars. The 12C GT3 has been specified and developed by a team comprising senior personnel from McLaren Racing, McLaren Automotive and successful GT car race team CRS Racing.