28 May, 2015
Matt Bell will be on track in the No.17 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 this weekend for the ‘Silverstone 500’, a three-hour British GT race at Silverstone’s world-famous Grand Prix Circuit.
Matt and his team-mate, Derek Johnston, had a rough start to the British GT Season back in April at Oulton Park when Johnston was hit after making brilliant progress through the pack in race one. The subsequent damage to the Aston Martin was enough to put them out for the rest of the weekend.
The duo fared better at Rockingham, bagging fifth place at a circuit that was always going to find their weak spots. Silverstone is a track that suits the Aston Martin and a race that Bell has been looking forward to for a long while.
“The Aston Martin has a not-so-secret weapon, a very powerful V12 engine,” said Matt. “The configuration of Silverstone, with its long straights and fast corners, means that the car can really ‘stretch its legs’ and make the most of all that power. The Vantage GT3 also has excellent high speed aerodynamics so it is very strong through the Maggotts/Becketts combination, which just so happens to be my favourite section of racing circuit in the whole of the UK.”
The British GT season gives drivers a good mixture of events from the short, hour-long sprints to the longer endurance races, like the Silverstone 500.
“Strategy comes into play in these longer races,” Matt explained. “It’s how you handle things like safety car periods that will decide which team wins – that has certainly been the case in the last couple of years. The long races are a bigger team effort, although with each driver doing two short stints it is more like a couple of sprint races for me and Derek.”
The British GT cars will take to the track for free practice at Silverstone on Saturday at 09:30 before Qualifying starts at 15:35 that same day. The three-hour Silverstone 500 gets underway on Sunday at 12:20 with live coverage starting on Motors TV at 12:00.