Podium for Rob Bell with Scuderia Ecosse
1st October 2007
Rob Bell added to his trophy collection after this weekend’s FIA GT championship round in Nogaro, France. A third place finish with Andrew Kirkaldy in the Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 430 GT was the best result of the season for the team.
Bell was invited to join the team for his second outing in their Ferrari, this time teaming up with regular driver, Kirkaldy. In the official practice sessions they were quickly on the pace in the GT2 class, and followed this with a qualifying session that placed them fifth of the GT2s, 20th place overall.
The Kirkaldy/Bell car was found to have an oil leak in warm up which demanded an engine change and resulted in a pit lane start for the Ferrari, effectively dropping them to last place. However, Bell and his Scottish team mate were determined not to let this affect them and they powered into the race. Over the course of the two-hour, 81 lap race distance, the duo took their turn to move through the field and by the chequered flag were lying in third place.
Bell said of the weekend, “It was an enjoyable, yet tough race. We had the pace to be second, but had a problem with one of the pitstops which dropped us back. We didn’t have the pace of the lead Ferrari, as they were on Michelin tyres which suited the track better on this occasion. Pirelli gave us a good tyre though, it was a harder compound, which lasted the whole race, and was very consistent, and that really helped us to our podium finish.
“I’m happy to take the podium, you’re always happy to taking home some silverware and spraying the champagne. I’m also pleased to have driven with Scuderia Ecosse for their best result this season. My thanks go to Chris Niarchos for giving me the opportunity to drive with them. Andy and I worked really well together, we were running at a very similar pace, which gave us the consistency we needed to finish third and as we know each other well it took us no time at all to work together effectively. You can’t complain when you start in the pitlane and finish on the podium!”
The Bell/Kirkaldy podium helped the team to move to third place in the FIA GT Championship with one round remaining. This will be in Zolder, Belgium in three weeks time (20/21 October).