Rob Bell confirmed for Asian Le Mans Series return with Garage 59
23rd January 2023
The Asian Le Mans Series gets underway next month, with double-header weekends taking place at the Dubai Autodrome followed by Yas Marina Circuit, in Abu Dhabi. McLaren Factory Driver, and 2015-16 Series champion, Rob Bell will make a welcome return to the grid, joining an exciting Pro-Am line-up with the Garage 59 team. Rob will race alongside fellow Brit Nick Halstead and Italian-Monegasque driver Louis Prette in the #59 McLaren 720S GT3.
A pair of four-hour races take place at the Dubai Autodrome over the weekend, 11-12 February. Rob returns to the circuit after competing at the first ever race weekend held at the venue, when he competed in the Renault V6 Eurocup event back in 2004. Two further four-hour races conclude the series a week later at a circuit Rob knows well, Yas Marina Circuit, in Abu Dhabi. Securing silverware on his last competitive outing at the Formula 1 venue, Rob took a podium finish back in 2014 as part of the driver line-up debuting the then-new McLaren 650S GT3. This will be the first time Rob has experienced the newly-revised circuit layout.
Rob is reunited with Nick Halstead for the championship, who completed a full season in British GT during last season, taking a podium at the opening weekend, before claiming victory at the Spa-Francorchamps round. Rob joined Nick for one round in the Fox Motorsport McLaren to help secure a top-10 finish at Doningotn Park. The driver line-up is completed by Louis Prette, who returns to the Asian Le Mans Series for a fourth season. The 24-year-old claimed 2nd place in the LMP3 class in 2017-18, before switching to GT competition. He returned to the series last year to finish 3rd in the GT class with three top-three finishes.
Commenting on his first race plans for 2023, Rob explained: “I’m delighted to be joining Garage 59 for another run at the Asian Le Mans Series, racing alongside Nick again and joined by Louis. I know a lot of the team already, and they did incredibly well last year, finishing the season really strongly. Hopefully we can keep that going into the new season, and it is great to be back racing so early in the year.
“I am really looking forward to being back in the Asian Le Mans Series paddock, albeit in new locations. It will also be great to be racing back in Dubai, as it’s been a few years, and trying out the new layout at Yas Marina. I have very happy memories of both circuits, and we have a competitive line-up between the three of us and the package we have with the 720S GT3, so it is going to be interesting to see what we can do.”
Rob secured the Asian Le Mans Series title for the 2015-16 season with Clearwater Racing, when it was contested at its traditional Asian venues. Competing with the McLaren 650S GT3, Rob helped the team secure victories at the opening races of the year in Japan and Malaysia, before signing off the season with a further podium.
Asian Le Mans Series 2023
11 February: Rd 1 – Dubai Autodrome, Dubai
12 February: Rd 2 – Dubai Autodrome, Dubai
18 February: Rd 3 – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi
19 February: Rd 4 – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi