19 March, 2012
Rob Bell, leading British sportscar driver, made his fourth Sebring 12 Hours start last weekend, driving with Paul Miller Racing and sharing the team's Porsche 911 GTE entry with regular drivers Sascha Maasen and Bryce Miller. After a gruelling dusk to dawn race, the team finished seventh in the GT Class and celebrated being the leading Porsche home in the 60th Anniversary 12 Hours of Sebring.
The team fielded a brand-new Porsche with a brand-new tyre partner in Dunlop at this event, the first round of the American Le Mans Series for the Paul Miller Racing team. Bell has joined the team for the longer endurance race of Sebring. He has previously driven for the team at Daytona 24 Hours on two occasions, but this was his first experience with the team in the ALMS.
Bell said of competing with the team, "While the Porsche was relatively new to me, I've worked extensively with Dunlop for the past five years and hope my knowledge of their tyre helped this week. It was a very tough race and there was surprisingly little attrition in the GT Class. We sat in seventh place not far after half distance and thought that if our reliability held we'd be able to move up the order. However, by the chequered flag although we had closed on the field, we weren't able to make any place gains."
Of the Porsche-Dunlop link up Bell says, "I think the team has learned plenty this week and I think as their partnership with Dunlop develops they'll be able to make significant progress. They have the quality of personnel, the commitment and the drivers to make the necessary step forwards and I'm sure they will have a very competitive ALMS season.
"I've equalled my best finish at Sebring this year, which is pleasing and I hope I'll have the chance to come back and have another crack at it, and improve on my finish positions. It's always a challenge to drive this circuit and I've enjoyed my week with the team."
Bell now returns to driving duties with McLaren GT, preparing for the Blancpain Endurance Series which he is competing in with Gulf Racing, driving the McLaren MP4-12C GT car. The season kicks off at Monza, Italy on April 15th.