Derek Bell (racing driver)
Derek Bell began his career in 1964 on a Lotus Seven, with whom he played club racing in the UK. A year later he moved to the British Formula 3 Championship and was team-mate Peter Westbury at Church Farm Racing. Owner of the racing team was Bernard Hendler, Bells stepfather.
With Hendler Bell financial aid rose in 1968 in the Formula 2 European Championship one. With a Brabham BT23, he showed such a strong performance that the team led by Ferrari became aware of him. Bell got a work contract offered to lead him into Formula 1. With the Ferrari Dino 166F2 he was fourth in 1968 and 1969, fifth in the championship. The end of 1968 he made his debut in the Formula 1 World Championship. At the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, the home race of the Scuderia, Bell went to the Ferrari 312F1 at the start, but the race had to end prematurely after problems with the fuel pump. In the U.S., he did not finish.
After the withdrawal of the Scuderia from the formula 2 Bell lost his work contract. It was followed by several years in which he tried in vain to gain a foothold in the long term in Formula 1. In 1970 he was runner up in the Formula 2 European Championship and won the sixth place in the Watkins Glen the single point in the Drivers' World Championship. The mission of the team Surtees team was typical of the commitment of Bell in Formula 1, he always came only as a replacement driver, who was quickly available for use. In the U.S., he drove the Surtees TS7, with whom he also a year later qualified at Silverstone for the race.
The end of 1974, after three non- consecutive qualifications, he returned to the Formula 1 finally back. Although Bell went further seater, especially race in Formula 5000 and Formula Atlantic, the main focus of the British was now the sports and touring cars.
Parallel to the formula 2 enters Bell since the late 1960s sports car racing. In 1970 he gave up a Ferrari 512S its debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 1996, he played his last race at the Sarthe, this was his 26ster start. Over the years he became one of the best sports car drivers in motor racing history. In 1975, he celebrated his first victory at Le Mans alongside Jacky Ickx. In the same year he had three successes in the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 significant share of the profits of the brand world championship for the Italian brand. When he was in 1981 at Porsche factory driver, followed by wins in a row. For Porsche, he won four more successes at Le Mans and was regarded as a specialist next Ickx in the Porsche 962 twice, in 1985 and 1986, he secured the drivers' title, the sports car world championship. Bell has been hired yet 2001 of Bentley team for the race at Le Mans.
Bell says Formula 1 race and advises Porsche. His son Justin Bell is also a racing driver; with him, he went in 1992 and 1996, the 24 - hour race at Le Mans.