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

  • Dusty964 06 Jan 2013

    Hate to go off topic, but if you want to see a mental lap of la sarthe , it has to be Blundell in the Nissan.

    Back on topic (mostly) get an old video called Porsche, the racing legend. Every significant race car made by them, presented and driven by Derek Bell.

  • PascalBuyens 06 Jan 2013

    993RSGT3 said:
    Re the 956 at the ring - pity they didn't have a camera in Belloff's car when he did the 6.11 in qualifying. He was better than Senna (just watch the wet Monaco race if you don't believe me).
    I think the sheer size and weight of the cameras back then, would have slowed him down several secs (I believe the "in car 956 video" shows somewhere just how big they were)

  • PascalBuyens 06 Jan 2013

    Dangermouse78 said:
    2:47 "meep meep, out the way Group 44 Jag, Derek Bell coming through"
    Does make you wonder what car he gets blue flagged for at 3:50-ish; doesn't it?

    Maybe the fly on his dashboard? smile

  • 993RSGT3 05 Jan 2013

    Heard an interview with DB. He said his most memorable experience at LM was doing 248mph in a 917 in 1971! Don't forget that the distance record set in that race wasn't broken until 2010 (I know the course has changed, but still shows how fast the 917s were). Interestingly, both records were set with 397 completed laps.

    Re the 956 at the ring - pity they didn't have a camera in Belloff's car when he did the 6.11 in qualifying. He was better than Senna (just watch the wet Monaco race if you don't believe me).

    Edited by 993RSGT3 on Saturday 5th January 21:16

  • JBT 04 Jan 2013

    Fully agree Banjo, I saw Berridge in the Group C race at Donington Park in '11 and the C11 just ate up the run down to the Foggy Esses and up the pit straight. The 5.0 turbo V8 sounded like thunder smile

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