17 June, 2013
McLaren factory driver, Rob Bell, is off to Le Mans for his sixth attempt on the famed Le Mans 24 Hours race, joining the Aston Martin Racing team for this year’s event. Aston Martin Racing will have a major presence at the 90th 24 hours of Le Mans with five Vantage GTEs – three Pro and two Am, representing the marque, in its centenary year.
Bell and his team mates were at the French circuit last week for the official 24 hours of Le Mans test session where they dominated the GTE class, with the sister car in the GTE Pro Class topping the time sheets and the car of Bell and his co-drivers, Bruno Senna and Frédéric Makowiecki finishing just behind as second quickest car.
Bell looks ahead to the race saying, “I’ve made five appearances at the Le Mans 24 Hour race and winning has eluded me so far, but it’s a holy grail now and I’m going there with Aston Martin Racing with the win at the forefront of my mind. The team has all the ingredients for success, with a highly professional set up, front-running cars and a team of drivers with a mix of experience and youth. I’m driving with two very capable team mates and I think we can definitely win the GTE Pro class.
“Our biggest rivals will be the other Aston Martin Racing cars,” says Bell. “We’re up against a very strong field and the top of this list must be the sister No.97 and No.98 cars. However, with the race being the ultimate endurance event for cars, teams and drivers, it needs everything to come together and stay together for 24 hours to be in with a shot of the win. I’m very excited to be part of this team and it would be very fitting to bring home a win to celebrate Aston Martin’s centenary year.”
Bell is racing at Le Mans as an additional programme to his regular duties as a McLaren factory driver, working with the marque on development of its GT race model and campaigning the Blancpain Endurance Series with Gulf Racing UK. Bell says, “My thanks go to McLaren for appreciating the all-consuming desire of a sportscar driver such as myself to want to race at Le Mans and allowing me the opportunity to have another crack at the most revered endurance race in the world. I would also like to thank Aston Martin Racing for giving me the chance to be part of a great team for this year’s assault on the greatest race in the world, let’s hope we can bring the trophy home!”