Derek Bell returns to Le Mans to race a Porsche 962

Date: 
23-May-2012

Twenty years is a long time to wait.  The last time Derek Bell raced a Porsche 962 at Le Mans was in 1992 with his son Justin and Tiff Needell.  For Le Mans and motorsport fans, happily that will not be the last time, Derek Bell, the five times Le Mans winner, will return to Le Mans in June of this year to race a Porsche 962 once more.

Derek will take part in the Group C race that starts at 1005 on the morning of Saturday, 16th June at Le Mans, with qualifying and practice from 1600 on Thursday 14th June for one hour.

Derek commented on his return to Le Mans “Martin, the owner of the Porsche 962, invited me to drive his car. As it’s been twenty years and I still enjoy racing in historic series, the invitation was a hard one to resist “, going onto say

“It’s going to be fun rather than competitive, the emphasis on the fun, and I will enjoy soaking up the unique atmosphere created by the fans who watch the racing at Le Mans, a track that has meant more to me than any other in the world given the success I have had there.”

He will race the Porsche 962, chassis CK6-88, owned by Martin Overington, a highly original car that still wears its Kenwood livery, with matching engine and chassis numbers. The car raced at Le Mans in 1988 finishing 9th overall, completing 5,007 kilometres, driven by Takahashi, Okada and Giacomelli.  Further competition outings included Michael & Mario Andretti racing the car at the World Challenge of Tampa race in 1988, finishing in 6th place. The car also won the 1988 European Interserie Championship, with Danish driver Kris Nissen at the wheel.

The race car will be fitted with its Le Mans wing and nose for the Group C race, the proud owner, Martin Overington stated “I am thrilled that Derek is going to return to race at Le Man in this 962, a car with a Le Mans history, to which we can add, raced by Derek Bell. As a huge Le Mans fan it does not get much better than that”.

You can follow Derek’s progress at Le Mans in the Porsche 962 via his new twitter account @MrDerekBell with updates, images and video on his newly launched website www.derekbell.com

Derek will also be at the guest of honour at the Classic British Welcome at Saint Saturnin, just North of Le Mans, on Friday 15th June. Derek will open this superb annual homage to Le Mans, which this year features the Triumph marque, including a display of cars with a Le Mans heritage. He will be on hand to meet the fans and sign his new book over the course of the afternoon.
 

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