Heartbreak at Oulton Park for Matt Bell
Monday 21st April 2014
Oulton Park, UK - 21 April 2014: Matt Bell’s British GT season looked to be getting off to the perfect start today at Oulton Park, until he and his team-mate Mark Patterson were cruelly robbed of victory in this afternoon’s second race.
The first of today’s two one-hour races went well for the duo. Mark took the start from sixth place and had a good, clean run before handing the No.23 Audi R8 LMS ultra to Matt. Quickly up to fifth, Matt set off after Jonny Adam in the Beechdean car, pressurising the Aston Martin driver all the way to the flag.
“We had the pace to get past the Aston,” said Matt. “We were strong today but he was very aggressive in defending his position, dangerously so at times. We touched a couple of times but there was no way through so I had to just maintain position.”
Matt crossed the line in fourth place, just shy of his first podium finish of the year.
Starting duties for race two fell to Matt and he made a clean getaway, maintaining his 11th place grid position. The United Autosports team applied some great stategy during a mid-race safety car period and after pitting to hand over to Mark, the Audi was able to grab the race lead.
“Mark was leading and everything was looking rosy for us,” said Matt. “We had a fight on our hands with the Ferrari behind us but Mark had good pace and was beginning to pull away from him before he got into traffic. The traffic backed Mark up to the Ferrari, which made its move at Knickerbrook. He braked too late, trying to go round the outside of Mark and smashed into our left side, breaking the car and ending our race.”
“The weekend was difficult,” he continued. “We had problems on Saturday which put us on the back foot but we recovered from those and had very good race pace today. A combination of it being difficult to overtake around here and the race two incident robbed us of at least one podium, potentially two.
“Big thanks to all the Aldermore guests who came to support me today. It’s a shame there was no Champagne to share with them. We’ll try again at Rockingham!”