Bell Avoids The Whoosh
didn’t see anything – just a whoosh of colour as they
That was SAMAX
driver Rob Bell’s description of the leaders of the VIR 400
coming past him on the last lap of Sunday’s Rolex Series race.
Normally you would expect a driver to have noticed a little more,
but Rob Bell was rather busy at the time….
been catching the third and fourth place battle in GT with about
five laps to go, and I went for the opportunity to pass Wolf Henzler
(below) in the Tafel car – but didn’t make it. I lost
quite a bit of time there, so I ended up by myself on the track,
and so near the end of the race, your mindset changes – you’ve
just got to finish the race.
“With one lap to go, they told me over the
radio that the leaders were approaching to lap me, but initially
I couldn’t see them in my mirrors. Then coming down the back
straight, there they were three abreast, flashing their lights at
me! I was being told the same thing over the radio, and the last
thing I wanted to do was affect the outcome of the race –
and to be honest, I committed a bit of a schoolboy error: I missed
the fact that there was a corner coming up!
“I could have kept it on the track, but you
can’t get in the way of the leaders, so I took the plunge
and decided to go onto the grass, which was still pretty wet –
so I ended up going a long way off. So all I saw was the whoosh
For the moment, that’s Rob Bell’s three-race
deal with SAMAX concluded, but “I’m still talking to
Peter (Baron) and I’d love to do the whole season in the 997.
Peter does a really good job, although I’ve had different
partners at every race so far.
it was a last minute deal to have Ian James in the car at Virginia,
and although I’d never met him before, he did a really good
job (chasing Liddell, below).
nice to have someone quick in the car – and someone who knows
Virginia very well. He pointed me in the right direction with some
tips about the circuit – which kerbs you can clip and which
you can’t, for instance.
“We’ve struggled a little bit when tracks
are green, which Virginia was after all that rain on Saturday, but
I use Wolf Henzler as my baseline, and I felt I pretty much matched
him at Homestead and VIR – maybe their car was a tenth or
so quicker, but I think they’ve got the budget to develop
So Laguna Seca next for Rob Bell – or Spa-Francorchamps,
in the LNT Panoz (a week later)? We’ll have to wait and see.
What a pair of tracks coming up in the Le Mans Series / Grand Am.
There are some challenges ahead in both series –
as the LNT Panoz Esperantes take on the Ferrari F430s, and the Porsches
take on the TRG Pontiacs in Grand Am.