22 January, 2015
After completing a successful test with Bentley Team M-Sport in late 2014, Matt Bell has been selected to join the team’s assault on the Bathurst 12 Hour in Australia in February.
The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour kicks off the new racing season for Bentley Motorsport and it will also be the first race of 2015 for Bell who will join Guy Smith and Steven Kane in the No.10 Bentley Continental GT3.
“It’s great to join Bentley Team M-Sport,” said Matt. “I tested with them at Portimao last year and they gave me a car that was brilliant to drive. You need a great team for endurance racing as well as a great car and everything I saw from them last year and experienced at the test gives me great confidence going into the Bathurst 12 Hour. Although long, the races are flat out so every lap is a quali lap. It’s going to be a huge challenge but it's a great thing to work as part of a team like this in such a tough environment.”
The Mount Panorama circuit is new to Matt so before heading to Australia he will be doing his homework and learning as much as he can about the configuration of the track.
“Mount Panaroma is one of those iconic international circuits that every driver wants to tackle,” he said. “I remember talking to Allan Simonsen about it a few years ago when he had just broken the lap record there and I knew I had to go and experience it for myself. The track is one of the ones that has a lot of folklore attached to it, like the Nurburgring and Spa, so I’m excited to have this opportunity with Bentley.”
Matt joins two of Bentley’s established factory drivers in the Bentley Continental GT3 at Bathurst and believes that as a team they have a very good chance of a top result.
“I’m very optimistic about our chances in the 12 Hour,” he explained. “The Bentley finished second in the Blancpain series last year in its debut season so I know it is a good car and I will be proud to represent Bentley at Bathurst. I have very strong team-mates in Guy Smith - a Le Mans winner – and Steven Kane who I rate amongst the top GT drivers in the world at the moment. The car is a proven front-runner and is extremely reliable so we have no reason not to expect a fantastic result.”
The Bathurst 12 Hours takes place on 8th February at Mount Panorama in Bathurst, Australia.