27 March, 2013
Matt Bell’s 2013 race season gets going this Easter weekend with the first round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Oulton Park in Cheshire. The Geordie racer will contest the full season in the No.25 United Autosports Audi R8 LMS Ultra, alongside Mark Patterson.
The 2013 British GT season promises to be the most competitive season yet of the popular national championship and Matt intends to be at the sharp end from the start.
He said: “We want to hit the ground running at Oulton. We all know the circuit, we know the car and Mark and I have raced together before so there’s no reason why we can’t get stuck in straight away. We have some very strong competition this year but we are prepared and ready to take them all on.”
The competition has an extra edge for Matt this weekend as sibling rivalry could come into play. Matt’s brother Rob, a factory driver for McLaren, will race one of United Autosport’s McLaren MP4-12Cs at Oulton, which could put the two brothers in a head to head battle on the track.
On racing against his brother Matt said: “I've raced against Rob a few times now when he's been in a different team so it'll be good to have him in the same garage this weekend. We aren't actually that big on sibling rivalry as there’s a 10 year age gap between us but of course I would like to beat him. One thing I know for sure though is that Rob is very quick and he has had a lot of success so he’ll be tough to beat. I also need to make sure I’m focused on beating the other 33 cars as well!”
Matt is no stranger to British GT success as from the final three rounds in 2012 he and his team-mate Charles Bateman took two victories and a podium finish for United Autosports. This is a new season though so until the cars take to the track at Oulton Park this weekend it’s hard to say who will provide the toughest competition.
Matt explained: “It's always difficult to predict who will be quick at the first round so it'll be an interesting weekend. That said there's no one in there we haven't beaten so I expect to run at the front. Pre-season testing went well so I'm excited about getting stuck into the competition.”
Qualifying for the two one-hour sprint races takes place on Saturday at 16:30. Both races take place on Easter Monday at 10:55 and 14:55.