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Rob Bell Set for Sebring 12 Hours Challenge

11th March 2008

Le Mans Series GT2 title winner, Rob Bell will make his debut in the 56th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring this weekend. He will line up for the Tafel Racing team in a GT2 Ferrari 430, racing alongside team mates Dirk Muller and Dominik Farnbacher.

Commenting ahead of the race weekend, Bell says, “The biggest challenge will be to keep going until the end, keeping concentration up and staying out of trouble. It’s the first time that the 2008 car will have done a 12 hour race and this track is phenomenally bumpy and tricky, so it’s not a foregone conclusion that we’ll make it to the end. Having said this, I know that there’s been a lot of work done by over the winter and I’m confident for the weekend.

“As it’s my first ALMS race it’s all a bit unknown for me. I think there’ll be plenty of familiar faces from Europe, and it’ll be the cream of the crop racing out there. The difference will be in the depth of quality drivers and talent, which will make for a highly competitive race.

“I know the track having driven it when I was doing single seater racing. That makes it a bit easier for me as I can concentrate on the car, handling and speed rather than learning the corners. I’ll still need to refresh myself of where all the main bumps are though!

“I’m really looking forward to getting out there and soaking up the atmosphere, the 12 hours of Sebring is a fantastic event, with great support from the crowd. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do in my career and I’m pleased I’ve finally got the opportunity to do it.”

Sebring 12 Hours opens the new season of American sports car racing. One of the longest and toughest stateside sportscar races, it presents the greatest challenge for drivers and teams, renowned for its rough surface causing cars to bottom out in certain sections of the circuit. The course still runs on old sections of World War II-era landing fields that were constructed of concrete sections with large seams. The transitions between sections are quite rough because much of the track has intentionally been left with its original concrete runway surface.

The 3.7 miles (5.95 km) long Sebring Raceway is one of the oldest continuously-operating race tracks in the United States. It is a seventeen-turn road course with long straights, several high-speed corners, and very technical slower corners. There is very little elevation change around the track and little camber on the surface, providing a challenging track for drivers, especially when it rains.

The 56th running of the Sebring 12 Hours takes place from March 12, the race gets underway on Saturday (March 15) at 10:00 AM EDT.