29 May, 2012
Amongst the many high profile names racing at Silverstone this coming weekend in the Blancpain Endurance Series will be two brothers from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, pitted against each other on home soil for the first time...and both driving a McLaren MP4-12C GT3.
Two times Le Mans Series Champion, Rob Bell, will be in the No. 9 Gulf Racing UK entry and in the No.22 United Autosports car will be his younger brother Matt. Rob, 33, who now lives with his wife in St Helens, Merseyside, has raced with 22-year-old Matt before in a British GT event at Silverstone but never against him. Yorkshire-based Matt will be partnered by the super-experienced Australian, David Brabham, and Portuguese Alvaro Parente, while Rob's team mate is fellow Briton Mike Wainwright.
There are 53 entries for the three-hour race this Sunday, so does the fraternal competition add to the anticipation of the event? Older brother Rob speaks with the voice of greater experience.
Brothers Matt Bell, left, (23, Barningham, Yorkshire) and Rob Bell (33, St Helens, Merseyside) getting competitive with each other.
"I'll be happy to see him do well… as long as he's behind me! Honestly though, I don't think about it too much as my focus is on the other 52 cars and not just him. He's just another good competitor to me, amongst a field of very good people, but it's probably different for him as he's trying hard to still make a name for himself. But we're both there to win and Matt's not just trying to beat me, but all the other professional drivers out there.
"All our family and a lot of friends are coming this weekend and, whoever finishes ahead, it's a win-win situation for Mum and Dad. They don't give a monkey's who's ahead and support both of us equally; Mum will just be happy when we both come back in one piece, and if we crash they'd both bang our heads together!"
May the best brother win.