12 March, 2015
McLaren GT factory driver, Rob Bell, will contest the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series as part of bold plans by customer team Von Ryan Racing, driving alongside fellow works drivers Kevin Estre, Alvaro Parente, Bruno Senna and Shane Van Gisbergen.
Rob will take part in the five-date calendar as the British-based Von Ryan Racing team enters two McLaren 650S GT3 racers in arguably the most competitive GT3 championship globally, which includes the Total 24 Hours of Spa.
In addition to the full Blancpain Endurance Series, Rob will be involved with McLaren GT customer teams in a variety of global GT championships. He will also support the drivers in the McLaren GT Young Driver Programme throughout the season, as Andrew Watson and Ross Wylie contest the Avon Tyres British GT championship with Von Ryan Racing. Bell will work with the drivers as a driver coach, and will be on hand to offer expert tuition and advice to the youngsters in their first season of GT3 racing as they debut in the Von Ryan Racing 650S GT3.
Rob said of the announcement, “It’s going to be a busy year for me dovetailing my racing and coaching duties. I’m eager to be back out on track racing competitively, so the season can’t start soon enough. Mentoring and sharing my experience with Andrew and Ross will also be a great way to put back into the sport. I really enjoy coaching youngsters and helping them to improve their driving skills and I hope I will be a valuable asset in their British GT campaign.”
The Lancashire-based driver moves into his fifth season with McLaren GT, having been involved with the Woking-based manufacturer since the debut of the 12C GT3 in 2011.
Customer team Von Ryan Racing has run McLaren GT cars from when the project began in 2011, campaigning the 12C GT3 in a variety of championships over the past three seasons. Team principal Dave Ryan will head up the two-car line-up in the Blancpain Endurance Series in addition to the recently announced two-car Avon Tyres British GT entry with McLaren GT Young Drivers Andrew Watson and Ross Wylie.
Rob and the other four factory drivers will test at the official Blancpain Endurance Series test dates at Paul Ricard this week (11-12 March), before the opening round of the season at Monza, Italy, 11-12 April.