24 August, 2010
Rob Bell made a return to the Budapest circuit, Hungaroring, this weekend, competing in the fourth round of the 2010 Le Mans Series with JMW Motorsport and driving the team’s Aston Martin Vantage GT2 car. A strong sixth place finish for Bell and teammate Darren Turner was a welcome reward for the challenge presented by the 1000km night race in Hungary.
The weekend began with testing and the team were pleased with the pace they were showing, which they carried through to qualifying, matching their best start position of the year. Outqualifying the Porsches and just behind the leading four Ferraris in the team’s first year of running the Aston Martin GT2 car was testament to the work that JMW Motorsport and Aston Martin have been putting into the development programme.
Bell’s teammate, Turner, started the race and was quickly up to fourth in class. An unscheduled pitstop put the team back down the order early in the race and the drivers were then on the back foot to make up ground for a podium finish. Bell took over the driving seat for his first stint and pushed hard to climb his way back through the field, but with the strength of opposition, particularly in the GT2 class, it was always going to be a tough battle.
Bell said of the race, “Bell said of the race, “It was a bit disappointing to lose so much time at the start and not be able to turn our early weekend form, our reliability and our strong pace in the rest of the race into a stronger finish. But there’s plenty of positives to take away and hopefully we can get the result we deserve at the next race weekend.
“It was the first time that the Le Mans Series had raced at the Hungaroring, although I’d been there before with FIA GT. One of the biggest challenges with the large grid is the traffic, as it’s such a tight track. It did suit our car and we had good traction, but we were forever fighting traffic, whether it was overtaking GT1 or Formula Le Mans cars or dealing with the faster LMP1 contenders.”
“We move on to my home race now and I’m looking forward to getting back to a bigger track at Silverstone. It’s our final round and I hope we can put on a really good show for our British based fans.”
The Autosport 1000km of Silverstone takes place from 10-12 September.