15 May, 2017
McLaren GT Factory Driver, Rob Bell, struggled through a tough weekend of racing in the second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Silverstone last weekend, with the #58 Strakka Racing McLaren 650S GT3 underperforming and lacking pace at the Formula 1 circuit.
Rob was sharing the #58 car with regular Endurance Cup teammates, Come Ledogar and Ben Barnicoat and all three drivers were unable to get the best out of the Pirelli tyres and struggling to find the race pace they needed for the Silverstone circuit.
Rob took the start for the race and was dicing with cars around him, while also finding it tough to get past the backmarkers. In a testing stint Rob had been able to improve a few place from his start position, moving up from 26th to 21st by the end of his stint. Ben was next in the car but just as he got underway with his stint he was hit by the #55 Ferrari, with Ben losing nine places and the Ferrari being given a penalty.
Despite rear end damage to the #58 McLaren 650S, Ben continued, handing over the car to Come from 24th place. Come had a solid stint, continuing to run 24th into the closing stages. With one second remaining of the race time Come crossed the start/finish line and was on his final lap, so was a classified finisher, albeit in 34th place. In reality, the car suffered a technical issue and was unable to complete the lap, a disappointing end to a torrid weekend.
Rob said afterwards, “It was definitely a weekend to forget for us. We were out of sorts throughout and never got to grips with the tyres for this track. It wasn’t helped by the changing weather conditions that made it difficult to find the consistency we needed to start developing the car. It’s back to the drawing board for us now. We’ll come back fighting as always and look to turn our fortunes around on the next outing.”
Rob now turns his attention to the GT Open Series with the next round at Spa-Francorchamps in two weeks time.