Time For Tea? Derek Bell laps Le Mans

OK, there's been quite a big Porsche presence on PH recently. Indulge us in this one though, this being a combination of two of our favourite things. Three really, if you include the driver for this onboard slice of La Sarthe. We have Derek Bell, we have a Porsche 962 and we have a qualifying lap for last year's Le Mans Group C race, held just before the main event in June. What more needs to be said than that?

It doesn't give you much this video - it's just a camera strapped to the dashboard and given a slightly ethereal effect by YouTube's anti wobble witchcraft. But as any film director will tell you, it's as much what you don't show as what you do that makes for thrilling footage. You can't see Bell or his inputs into the car but you can just tell by the sounds that the 962 isn't like a modern racing car. There's no flappy-paddle automation here, just a physical-sounding monster of a car devouring the track it was built for and making even a driver of Bell's ability work for it too. Throttle applications are measured and at times cautious. Gear changes deliberate and well thought out. All because they have to be. But by heck when he does let it off the leash does it go some.

You can read more about Bell from when Riggers met him a little while back and we even POTW'd this car not long after. Top Gear's Piers Ward had a go with this very car last year and his impressions can be seen here, Chris Harris's view from the wheel of another 962 here. But here's the man himself, letting rip with 'his' 962 down the Mulsanne Straight. Enjoy.


Photo: www.derekbell.com/Martin Overington

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Comments (40) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Oddball RS 03 Jan 2013

    I think that was half warm up lap and a run to the line to start a hot lap proper?

  • Felix7 03 Jan 2013

    Oddball RS said:
    I think that was half warm up lap and a run to the line to start a hot lap proper?
    You could well be right, from memory this is the second lap after coming into the pits for the first time to have the car looked over. Bear in mind this was his 4th or 5th lap around Le Mans in a car he had only driven in a brief shake down at Dunsfold so he was still making sure the set up was right. When he does put the right foot down the car really does shift, a real shame that the race itself coincided with a deluge at Le Mans!

  • jimed 03 Jan 2013

    Still pretty awesome stuff though - excellent to watch!

  • UltimaCH 03 Jan 2013

    Great footage and that sound is so toxic and a pleasure to hear. I wonder how the fly or insect which happens to land on the dashboard around 3/4 of the video got there....?

  • legalknievel 03 Jan 2013

    Let me be the first to wheel out an old favourite from the Group B days:


    It's also the best Ring lap walk through I've seen.

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