Derek Bell (77), is a charismatic personality and one of the most important ambassadors for motorsports. He drove 9 Formula I Grand Prix between 1968 and 1969. Six times he was not able to qualify because his car was not competitive enough. In 1970 he became sixth on a Surtees at the GP in Watkins Glen.
He was born in Pinner, Middlesex in 1941 and grew up on a farm. In 1964 he won the first race he ever drove in Goodwood on a Lotus 7. He wrote racing history without having success in the Formula I.
He won the 24 Hours of Le Mans 5 times. Three times together with Jacky Ickx (1975,1981, 1982) and two times together with Hans Stuck/Al Holbert (1986, 1987), four times on Porsche! Derek is Le Mans!
In 1985 and 1986 he won the drivers championship in the sportscar-world-championship. The nights of Le Mans and Daytona where a speed of 370 was normal seem to be engraved in his tanned face. Every wrinkle tells the story of an adventure.
Derek has enjoyed the romantic times of the long distance races where the racetracks were not eased by chicanes or huge safety zones like today.
Stirling Moss has been the hero of his youth. Lateron Derek became the neighbour of Stirling and Susie in Florida. Bentley offers him obe of its family jewels: the famous Bentley Blower 4 1/2 lt. from 1929 for the Ennstal-Classic.
picture 1: (c)Daniel Reinhard
picture 2: (c)Peter Meierhofer