Derek Bell MBE, the five times Le Mans winner, will return to compete in the Group C support race, which takes place ahead of the main Le Mans 24 hours race, at the iconic French circuit in June.
2014 sees Derek celebrate 50 years in motor racing. He won his first ever race at the Goodwood circuit driving a Lotus 7 back in March 1964. What better way to celebrate his 50th Anniversary behind the racing wheel, than to return to the scene of his most famous wins, by racing a Porsche 962 at Le Mans.
For his co-driver and the owner of the 962, Mark Sumpter managing director of Paragon Porsche in East Sussex, it is the realisation of a long held ambition “Derek is the most famous and successful Porsche racing driver, I’m delighted to be racing with him again, particularly at Le Mans. I grew up watching Derek win so many races and as a Porsche enthusiast and racer myself I feel honoured to be his team mate. Derek is legendary at Le Mans and I am sure it will be a really exciting race, I can’t wait.”
On his return to Le Mans, Derek commented “Its 50 years since I first started racing and combined with Mark Sumpters offer of racing his 962, in the year that sees Porsche return to the top tier, made racing at Le Mans again irresistible. I am still a racer at heart!” going on to say. “Knowing Mark, his 962 is always very well prepared, so I would like to think we have a realistic chance of winning our class or even making the podium, for me that would be a very emotional experience”
The 60 minute qualifying session for the Group C Historic race at Le Mans will take place on the afternoon of Thursday 12th June. The 10 laps/45min Group C Historic race, with a 2 minute compulsory pit-stop at the end of lap 5, takes place on the morning of Saturday 14th June morning.