14 September, 2016
It was a welcome victory in the British GT championship for Rob Bell this weekend. The McLaren GT factory driver celebrated the first win this season for the #79 Black Bull Ecurrie Ecosse McLaren 650S GT3, sharing the car with Alasdair McCaig. Racing at Donington circuit, Rob qualified the car in second place and took the lead after the pitstops and crossed the finish line over eight seconds ahead of the field.
Saturday morning in Donington was very soggy and with persistent rain, some teams opted to stay in the dry and not venture on to the track. Alasdair and Rob decided to put in a few laps, clocking seventh fastest time by the end of the session. They were out again for the second session, another wet one, and posted eighth quickest lap.
The qualifying session later in the day was held in better weather conditions, but with earlier rain it was a damp track. Rob showed his mastery of Donington with a last-gasp flying lap that put the Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse #79 McLaren 650S GT3 on the front row of the grid, in second position.
Alasdair took the start for the race and held position off the grid. A heavy clash behind the front runners brought out the safety car on the first lap, with Alasdair remaining in second when racing resumed. After 33 laps of running the Scotsman handed over the car to Rob and the McLaren GT factory driver in second place. With a good pitstop from the Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse pit crew and a longer stop for the lead Aston Martin, Rob headed the field. With a seven seconds advantage over the second placed car Rob drove masterfully to maintain a healthy lead with a dominant performance, taking the win with a comfortable margin.
Rob said of the weekend, “We’ve shown so much potential over the course of this championship and today it all came together for us, with a great win to end the season on a high. Alasdair and I had strong race pace, after a very wet start to the weekend that hadn’t really given us a chance to set the car up, but with a great team behind us, we finally brought home a win. I’d like to thank the Black Bull Ecurrie Ecosse team for my British GT season which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I love racing on our premier home circuits, they are where I grew up and are all fantastic venues.”
Rob is back out on track next week, with the final round of the Blancpain Endurance Series in Nurburgring next weekend.