24 September, 2009
This weekend one of the biggest sportscar endurances races in American motorsport takes place with the 2009 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta circuit in Georgia, USA. British racing driver Rob Bell will return with the Drayson racing team in the American Le Mans Series and will make his debut in a Le Mans Prototype car. Bell joins the Drayson team and its regular drivers Paul Drayson and Jonny Cocker for this event and they will be behind the wheel of the team’s new LMP1 Lola sportscar.
Bell raced earlier in the ALMS season for the Drayson Racing team at Sebring, Florida when they were running their more familiar 007 GT2 Aston Martin Vantage. This weekend will see the team debut their as yet unraced Lola prototype for the first time, and the trio of drivers will take on the might of Audi and Peugeot in the LMP1 category. The Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta will also be an unknown quantity for Bell as he has never raced at this circuit prior to this weekend.
Bell commented about the weekend’s race, “I’m really looking forward to going out there and seeing what we can do with the LMP1 car. The team has had very little time with the car prior to this weekend, so we know we’ll be going out there to do almost an extended test session and get to grips with everything, as well as competing in one of the most exciting sportcar endurance events. As a racer, I will be expecting to be competitive, and this Lola-Judd LMP1 specification has already proven itself in this year’s Le Mans Series.”
“For me it’s a fantastic opportunity to have the chance to race a prototype, being my first outing in the category. I’m much more familiar with the slower GT2 cars, but I have plenty of endurance racing experience, so the traffic and other factors shouldn’t be an issue. I’ve never been to Road Atlanta before either, so I’m really looking forward to the challenge which lies ahead. I unfortunately missed out on the testing over the weekend due to my FIA GT commitments, but Jamie Cambell-Walter stepped in and the team are pleased with the car’s performance which bodes well for the weekend.
“I’m so grateful to Paul (Drayson) and team manager Dale (White) for giving me this chance, they both have great racing experience and I’m sure we can go out there and have a strong race.”
Free practice takes place on Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th September with qualifying on Friday 25th. The start of the Petit Le Mans (1000 miles or 10 hours) will be given on Saturday afternoon of 26th September.