25 January, 2012
Leading British sportscar driver, Rob Bell, returns to USA this weekend for the classic Daytona 24 Hour race which takes place at Daytona International Speedway in Florida, USA. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, this year's event promises to be another great sportscar endurance racing spectacle, with Bell gunning for class honours, after finishing second last year.
Bell returns to the Paul Miller Racing squad for his second attempt at claiming victory in this prestigious race, piloting a 2011 Porsche GT3 race car and sharing the driving duties with Paul Miller Racing's regular drivers, Bryce Miller and Sascha Maassen, as well as team newcomer Mark Wilkins.
Bell says of rejoining Paul Miller Racing, "I'm delighted to have been invited back to race with Paul Miller's team for a second year. Last year's race was a great experience and, never having raced at the event, another achievement for me. It was topped off by finishing second in GT3, which was an excellent result for me as a first-timer, and now we need to go one better and climb on the top step."
"I was out here for the 'Roar before the Rolex 24' a few weeks back, so had a chance to reacquaint myself with the unique Daytona racetrack and also, have my first drive of the team's Porsche GT3 which we'll be racing this weekend. It was a productive few days and we collected plenty of useful data which will, I'm sure, prove valuable for the days ahead, as we prepare for the 24 hour race."
"I love these 'one-off' classic sportscar races," adds Bell. "The atmosphere is always so special, the sportscar community has a great family feel to it and the camaraderie in the paddock is fantastic. It is a privilege to be taking part in the Daytona 24 and I'm sure as it is the 50th anniversary, there will be an extra special buzz around the place."
Team owner Paul Miller says of Bell returning to the team for the 24 Hour race, "Between the driver lineup and our newer car for this year, I'm really optimistic that we can take that one additional step on the podium. "I'm really excited about the drivers we've got in the car. Bryce and Sascha established a great relationship as full-time co-drivers last year and provide a solid foundation for our team.
"Rob did an outstanding job for us at Daytona last year and played a huge role in our second-place result, so we're excited to welcome him back. Mark Wilkins is new to our team for this year, but he's got tremendous experience at Daytona and has had a lot of success in GRAND-AM over the years, so I know he'll be a great addition to our team."
Track activity starts on Thursday 27th January with practice and pre-qualifying session and continues on to Friday 28th January. The start of the 50th anniversary Rolex 24 Hour race is at 3.30pm local time. The start and finish of the race will be shown live on Motors TV in Europe. Coverage starts at 8.30pm UK time on Saturday 29th January.