During a career spanning over three decades, Derek Bell has competed all over the world in many types of race cars. His international racing career started in 1965 with just 3 Formula 3 races. Regular wins through 1966 and 67 catapulted him through to F2 and into a works Ferrari Grand Prix drive in 1968. Derek’s Formula One career spanned 7 years and just 9 Grand Prix for 5 different teams.
Derek however is better known for his exploits in sports cars. WinningLe Mans a total of five times (1975, 81-82, 86-87) in a variety of incredible racecars, he spent 15 years of his career racing Porsches. Derek was also a twice World Sportscar champion (1985-86) and awarded an MBE for services to motor racing in 1986.
All that has eluded him is the sixth win at Le Mans, which would make him the most successful driver in the event. As recently as 1995 his McLaren F1 GTR seemed assured of victory when transmission problems relegated the car to third position in the final hours of the race. Derek continues to race saloon cars with great success in the US and makes the occasional magical appearance in the UK, racing historic Formula One cars and others, invariably towards the front of the field.
Off the race track, Derek covered all the Grands Prix for Fox Sports Network, as well as frequently appearing as a commentator for British television. In the past Derek has worked on numerous films, once spending six weeks with Steve McQueen filming the 70’s classic Grand Prix.
For the last couple of years Derek has worked with Bentley culminating in their Le Mans win in 2003.