03 July, 2017
Third win of LMP3 Cup season for Matt Bell on Sunday
Matt Bell took his third win of the 2017 Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup season at Silverstone on Sunday. After taking second place in Saturday’s race, Bell and his United Autosports team mate, Tony Wells, pushed through to take the win on Sunday. They now sit in second place in the championship with just four more races to go.
The strong pace that put No. 3 United Autosports Ligier JS P3 at the top of the timesheets in Free Practice on Saturday was lost with some set up changes before Race One but despite this Bell and Wells managed to fight their way through in the race to finish in second place, just a few seconds behind the winner.
“We were a bit disappointed with second which is not always a bad thing in motorsport when you're striving to be the best!” said Bell.
“It was still a good result but we were frustrated that we hadn't quite optimised the setup, and we felt like we had let a win get away from us.”
Sunday’s second race was much more fruitful as the team reverted to the original setup, allowing Wells to go one second quicker in qualifying.
Wells started second and managed to gain a five-second margin over the (championship leading) Ecurie Ecosse car, before handing the car over to Bell at the midway point.
“I had a good out lap and managed to edge the gap back out to seven seconds on the Ecurie Ecosse car,” Bell explained.
“We were in P2 and P3 by this point, catching the sister United Autosports car that was in the lead. We managed to get past them and I just had to manage the gap to the end.”
Ultimately, Bell crossed the line over five seconds clear after one hour of intense racing, securing his third win of the season.
“Today we were much happier and it was very good to get the win and keep the pressure on the championship leaders,” he said. “We have everything to play for and we’re looking forward to the fight in the final four races.”
Next up for Bell is the Michelin Le Mans Cup round at Austria’s Red Bull Ring on 22 July, while the LMP3 Cup resumes at Snetterton on 12-13 August.