23 June, 2014
Matt Bell came away from last weekend’s British GT meeting at Snetterton with two sixth-placed finishes. The Aldermore-backed driver was competing with a new team-mate this weekend as Iain Dockerill joined United Autosports for this round.
Qualifying was ultimately frustrating for Matt as on his fastest run he was blocked by a driver on a cool down lap, losing an assured front row grid position for the No.23 Audi R8 LMS ultra.
Iain was behind the wheel for the start of race one and he did a good job, handing the Audi over to Matt in 16th place. Slick work by the United Autosports pit crew helped Matt to get the jump on four cars straight away.
“I caught the Generation Bentley and then Michael Caine’s Aston Martin,” explained Matt. “The Bentley spun in fresh air in front of me and then I passed Caine. Once I had cleared some traffic I was able to really crack on, catching the two Aston Martins ahead of me by a second a lap. I pushed hard in the hope that (Jonny) Adam would make a mistake as I couldn’t find a way by.”
Matt finished the race in eighth position, subsequently promoted to sixth when two other finishers were excluded.
At the start of race two Matt had a great start from sixth place, immediately passing a car for fifth but then a major incident on lap one caused the race to be red flagged.
An hour later the race got back underway, unfortunately under the safety car so Matt had to bide his time. He found himself running behind an Aston Martin again and was unable to make a move.
“The Aston Martin engine is very strong so, although I could attack in the corners, they just pull away on the straights,” said Matt. “Iain did a good job again in this race and we took another sixth place.
“If you had asked me before the weekend if I would have been happy with two sixth-placed finishes with a brand new team-mate then I would have said yes. We had good pace this weekend but it still isn’t quite coming together for us.”
The next round of the 2014 British GT Championship takes place at Spa-Francorchamps on 12th July.