22 November, 2017
Leading British sportscar racing driver, Rob Bell, has been announced as Factory Driver for McLaren Automotive. A multi-championship winning driver, Rob, will join McLaren Automotive from January 2018 and assist with the development of the new 720S GT3 car and mentoring the young talent of the new McLaren Automotive Driver Development Programme.
Rob’s appointment was announced at a Press Conference held today at McLaren Automotive’s Woking headquarters. The company announced that a new 720S GT3 race car will begin testing next year for launch with customer teams in 2019, a network of specialist motorsport retailers will be appointed and a new one-make GT series will be launched next year. In addition, four promising young drivers: Jordan Albert, 21, Charlie Fagg, 18, Michael O’Brien, 22, and Lewis Proctor, 21, have been selected to kick-start the McLaren Automotive Driver Development Programme.
Rob will be kept busy with the development and testing programme for the new 720S GT3 alongside his role as mentor for the squad of young drivers. Rob said of today’s announcement, “I’m very excited to be the Factory Driver for McLaren and to be heavily involved with the new 720S GT3. I have extensive experience of both the 12C GT3 and the 650S GT3, so to be part of the programme for the race version of the award-winning McLaren 720S is a great opportunity. Just looking at the concept sketches has whetted my appetite and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel.”
Rob has been racing the McLaren GT3 models for the last five years and is looking forward to the next phase of his career, saying; “I’ve been given a very warm welcome by McLaren Automotive and I’m looking forward to working with their team of specialists throughout next year as the new GT3 programme takes shape.
Sharing my race experience with young, up-and-coming drivers and assisting them with their careers is one of my passions and over the 20-odd years of my career I’ve enjoyed nurturing new talent. I’m looking forward to working with Jordan, Charlie, Michael and Lewis as they forge their way up the motorsport ladder.”
McLaren Automotive CEO, Mike Flewitt, adds, “ I am delighted that Rob Bell joins the team as a Factory Driver for the 2018 season, as his knowledge and experience will be of enormous benefit to the Driver Development Programme. More than this, he will ensure that the 720S GT3 car builds on the success of our previous models in this class and is capable of competing against – and beating – the best that the GT world has to offer.”