Derek Bell (auto racer)

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Derek Bell
Derek Bell (2356476570).jpg
FIA Super Licence Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom
Formula One World Championship career
Active years1968 Formula One season - 1972 Formula One season, 1974 Formula One season
TeamsFerrari, Team McLaren, Surtees, Tecno
Races16 (9 starts)
List of Formula One World Drivers' Champions0
Career points1
Pole position0
Fastest lap0
First race1968 Italian Grand Prix
Last race1974 Canadian Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years1970 - 1983, 1985 - 1996
TeamsScuderia Ferrari
John Wyer
Ecurie Francorchamps
Gulf Racing
Grand Touring Cars
Renault Sport
Rothmans Porsche
Richard Lloyd Racing
Joest Racing
ADA Engineering
Courage Compétition
Gulf Oil
David Price Racing
Best finish1st (1975 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1981 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1982 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1986 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1987 24 Hours of Le Mans)
Class wins5 (1975 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1981 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1982 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1986 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1987 24 Hours of Le Mans)

Derek Reginald Bell MBE (born October 31 1941 in Pinner, Middlesex) is a former Racing driver from England who was extremely successful in Sportscar racing, winning 5 times at 24 Hours of Le Mans. He also raced in Formula One for the Ferrari, Team McLaren, Surtees and Tecno teams.

Derek Bell in the Wheatcroft Racing Brabham BT26 at the Nürburgring in 1970.
Bell demonstrating the Ferrari 312B3 "Spazzaneve" test car at the 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

He grew up on a farm and helped to run a caravan site near Pagham Harbour before being encouraged by his stepfather Bernard Hender to take up racing in 1964 with Lotus Seven. He graduated to Formula 3 in the following year in a Lotus 31 and in 1966 switched to a Lotus 41 scoring his first victory at Goodwood Circuit. In 1967 he enjoyed seven wins. He entered Formula 2 in a privateer Brabham BT23 fielded by his stepfather's Church Farm Racing team and had several promising performances, which caught Ferrari's eye and made his Grand Prix debut at Monza. In 1969 he raced at Silverstone Circuit with Ferrari and also raced the four-wheel-drive McLaren M9A in its only race in the British Grand Prix.

Bell was one of many drivers to take part in the filming of Le Mans (film) (1970) starring Steve McQueen. Bell had a lucky escape during the making of the film. The Ferrari 512 he was driving suddenly caught fire whilst getting into position for a take. He managed to get out of the car just before is was engulfed in flames and suffered minor burns. The car was badly damaged but later rebuilt.

Bell was also a runner in the 1970 European Formula 2 Championship driving a March. In 1972 he got the drive in the Tecno F1 team, along with Nanni Galli. He later raced a number of times for the Surtees team but also built a strong reputation as a fine sports car racer.

He won two World Sportscar Championship titles (1985-86), three in the 24 Hours of Daytona (1986-87 and 1989) and five victories at Le Mans (in 1975 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1981 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1982 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1986 24 Hours of Le Mans and 1987 24 Hours of Le Mans), mostly teamed with Jacky Ickx in one of the Porsche 936 and Porsche 956/Porsche 962 models. Ickx/Bell is nowadays considered as one of the most famous pairings in motorsport history.

Bell was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1986 for services to motorsport.

Bell was hired as chairman for the failed Spectre R42 project between 1996 to its demise in 1997 and was hired to consult for the Bentley team in 2001, helping them to win Le Mans two years later. He now splits his time between the United States and Bognor Regis, and commentates on Formula One races which he has done for and drives in historic events, as well as performing an ambassadorial role for Porsche. Bell is currently an operating partner of Bentley Naples in Naples, Florida.

His son, Justin Bell is also a racer. The two raced together in the 1991 24 Hours of Daytona, and the 1992 24 Hours of Le Mans. Bell was to race in the 2008 Daytona 24 hours with Justin, however the car dropped out of the race early and Derek did not get to run in the race.

Complete World Championship Formula One results

(F1 driver results legend 2)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 WDC Pts
1968 Formula One season Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 312/68 Ferrari V12 1968 South African Grand Prix
1968 Spanish Grand Prix
1968 Monaco Grand Prix
1968 Belgian Grand Prix
1968 Dutch Grand Prix
1968 French Grand Prix
1968 British Grand Prix
1968 German Grand Prix
1968 Italian Grand Prix
1968 Canadian Grand Prix
1968 United States Grand Prix
1968 Mexican Grand Prix
NC 0
1969 Formula One season McLaren McLaren McLaren M9A Cosworth V8 1969 South African Grand Prix
1969 Spanish Grand Prix
1969 Monaco Grand Prix
1969 Dutch Grand Prix
1969 French Grand Prix
1969 British Grand Prix
1969 German Grand Prix
1969 Italian Grand Prix
1969 Canadian Grand Prix
1969 United States Grand Prix
1969 Mexican Grand Prix
NC 0
1970 Formula One season Tom Wheatcroft Brabham Brabham BT26 Cosworth V8 1970 South African Grand Prix
1970 Spanish Grand Prix
1970 Monaco Grand Prix
1970 Belgian Grand Prix
1970 Dutch Grand Prix
1970 French Grand Prix
1970 British Grand Prix
1970 German Grand Prix
1970 Austrian Grand Prix
1970 Italian Grand Prix
1970 Canadian Grand Prix
22nd 1
Surtees Surtees Surtees TS7 1970 United States Grand Prix
1970 Mexican Grand Prix
1971 Formula One season Surtees Surtees Surtees TS9 Cosworth V8 1971 South African Grand Prix
1971 Spanish Grand Prix
1971 Monaco Grand Prix
1971 Dutch Grand Prix
1971 French Grand Prix
1971 British Grand Prix
1971 German Grand Prix
1971 Austrian Grand Prix
1971 Italian Grand Prix
1971 Canadian Grand Prix
1971 United States Grand Prix
NC 0
1972 Formula One season Tecno Tecno Tecno PA123 Tecno
1972 Argentine Grand Prix
1972 South African Grand Prix
1972 Spanish Grand Prix
1972 Monaco Grand Prix
1972 Belgian Grand Prix
1972 French Grand Prix
1972 British Grand Prix
1972 German Grand Prix
1972 Austrian Grand Prix
1972 Italian Grand Prix
1972 Canadian Grand Prix
1972 United States Grand Prix
NC 0
1974 Formula One season Bang & Olufsen Surtees Surtees Surtees TS16 Cosworth V8 1974 Argentine Grand Prix
1974 Brazilian Grand Prix
1974 South African Grand Prix
1974 Spanish Grand Prix
1974 Belgian Grand Prix
1974 Monaco Grand Prix
1974 Swedish Grand Prix
1974 Dutch Grand Prix
1974 French Grand Prix
1974 British Grand Prix
1974 German Grand Prix
NC 0
Surtees 1974 Austrian Grand Prix
1974 Italian Grand Prix
1974 Canadian Grand Prix
1974 United States Grand Prix

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Henri Pescarolo
Gérard Larrousse
List of 24 Hours of Le Mans winners
1975 24 Hours of Le Mans with:
Jacky Ickx
Succeeded by
Jacky Ickx
Gijs van Lennep
Preceded by
Jean Rondeau
Jean-Pierre Jaussaud
List of 24 Hours of Le Mans winners
1981 24 Hours of Le Mans with:
Jacky Ickx
Succeeded by
Jacky Ickx
Derek Bell
Preceded by
Jacky Ickx
Derek Bell
List of 24 Hours of Le Mans winners
1982 24 Hours of Le Mans with:
Jacky Ickx
Succeeded by
Vern Schuppan
Al Holbert
Hurley Haywood
Preceded by
Klaus Ludwig
Paolo Barilla
Louis Krages
List of 24 Hours of Le Mans winners
1986 24 Hours of Le Mans with:
Hans-Joachim Stuck
Al Holbert
Succeeded by
Derek Bell
Hans-Joachim Stuck
Al Holbert
Preceded by
Derek Bell
Hans-Joachim Stuck
Al Holbert
List of 24 Hours of Le Mans winners
1987 24 Hours of Le Mans with:
Hans-Joachim Stuck
Al Holbert
Succeeded by
Jan Lammers
Johnny Dumfries
Andy Wallace (racing driver)
Preceded by
Stefan Bellof
World Sportscar Championship Champion
1985 World Sportscar Championship season-1986 World Sportscar Championship season,
1985: with Hans Joachim Stuck
Succeeded by
Raul Boesel
Preceded by
Jonathan Palmer
British Competition Driver of the Year

Succeeded by
Nigel Mansell
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