12 November, 2014
Matt Bell will compete in the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 next year, after teaming up with Derek Johnson to challenge for the 2015 British GT Championship title. As a Pro-Am series, the British GT Championship is the perfect place for a pairing with a strong professional like Matt and a strong amateur like Derek so they have already set their sights high.
Aston Martin’s V12 Vantage has a proven pedigree, winning multiple titles, including the 2014 Teams’ Championship in British GT and the Driver’s title the previous year.
“I have been speaking to Derek for a while now about racing with him,” said Matt. “He tried out a few different GT3 cars for 2015 and he kindly invited me along to all of the tests. I’m really happy that he chose the Aston Martin as I was hugely impressed with the car. It is very fast in a straight line and has excellent levels of grip. I was able to get a good time out of it after doing only four laps so I was very pleased.”
This year’s British GT Championship looked promising for Matt. He and his team mate, Mark Patterson, were often very fast but it became a year to forget with many retirements through no fault of their own. In 2015 Matt will start afresh with Derek and he’s looking forward to the new partnership.
“I’m really excited to be partnered with Derek,” Matt explained. “He was one of the standout amateur drivers in 2014 so hopefully as a pair we can challenge for the championship and retain the title for Aston Martin. It’s also great to know our 2015 plans so early on as we now have time to formulate a good pre-season testing plan and get ready for the first round at Oulton Park next Easter.”
John Gaw, the Team Principal at Aston Martin Racing was pleased to learn of Matt’s appointment and he had this to say about Aston Martin customer team, TF Sport’s chances in 2015.
“This is a very exciting pairing to have in an Aston for British GT 2015 and with TF Sport running the car they have a real chance to be right at the front,” said Gaw. “Matt and I first met the year we had his brother Rob as a factory driver for Le Mans and we have had many discussions so it's great to see him now drive an Aston, and its third time lucky with Derek as this is the third year I have tried to convince him he can win in the Aston. Knowing him and reading an interview with him published last year I think everyone knows he only goes racing to win. Exactly then the type of paring that all the team at Banbury want to see racing the Vantage GT3. We wish them and TF all the best with this venture and look forward to celebrating some wins with them.”