22 October, 2012
McLaren factory driver, Rob Bell, is teaming up with fellow McLaren pilot, Alvaro Parente, to take on a completely new challenge this month, racing in a Hexis Racing McLaren MP4-12C GT3 car in the City Challenge Baku 2012. This new event will showcase a field of 24 GT race cars in a weekend of racing in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, running from 26th to 28th October.
City Challenge Baku 2012 follows on from successful events in Bucharest and Budapest from 2007 till 2009, with the organisers aiming to create the ultimate race experience. City Challenge races are designed to be a spectacular urban motorsport experience, with exciting entertainment including a line-up of top DJs, musicians and bands. The temporary race track will be installed around the impressive Azerbaijan Government House, near the seaside boulevard and the Caspian Sea.
Rob Bell says of his latest challenge, "It's great to be back out racing in the McLaren MP4-12C and to be sharing the car with Alvaro, as we've been working together on the car's development throughout the year. Hexis Racing has proved to be a strong team and they showed this in the last Blancpain Endurance Series race in Navarra when they finished with a great victory there.
"Unsurprisingly, I've never been to Azerbaijan and it's not a country I know much about, so it will be an interesting trip. I haven't even seen a track layout yet, so I really don't know what's in store. However, I know the McLaren is a great GT car and this, together with Hexis and Alvaro will ensure that we have a great weekend. We're going there to win, so I'm expecting to come back with silverware."
The track action starts with a parade on Thursday, October 25th, and practice sessions, qualifying and races from Friday, October 26th till Sunday, October 28th. The format of the events for the GT cars is different to the usual European system. Each driver will take part in a timed session and then a qualifying sprint race of 30 minutes. The combined ranking of the two races will decide the grid for a final race. The final race will be 60 minutes long, with tyre and driver changes at the halfway mark. For further information visit www.citychallenge.com.