With a just over a month to go until the 2019 MSA British Rallycross Championship kicks off, The Checkered Flag caught up with David Bell, of Bell Rallycross, at home in County Durham, to review last season and talk about 2019.
Competing in the BMW Mini Championship, which runs in support of the MSA British Rallycross Championship, David had a very successful 2018. Taking the BMW Mini title outright by seventeen points, no mean feat in a series where only 57 points separated the top six drivers.
“Apart from the first two rounds last year, where I finished fourth in both, I had podium finishes in every round, including 4 wins. I think I was the only driver to win 2 rounds or more.”
In addition to title, at the championships recent Night of Champions, David, was awarded The 2018 Driver of the Year Trophy, and the Jordan Bowes Memorial Trophy, The Spirit of Rallycross, jointly with his father Tony, a former Rallycross driver himself.
“I would just like to say thank you, to those people who put my name forward for the latter two trophies, it means a lot to us. And as always a big thank you to the team without who none of it would be possible.”
2019 will see a new car for David, currently being put together in the workshop, this will replace Davids’ current car, that was built-in 2013. Still running a Mini Cooper S with a 1600cc Supercharged engine, on the standard six-speed gearbox, producing in the region of 200 hp. Most of the work being carried out by his father, Tony, who now retired from racing has taken on the duties of Team Manager and Chief Mechanic.
“Mostly we’re making only minor improvement, trying to lose some weight. We’re attempting to shed 75kg, which is effectively me, to get as close to the 1000kg including driver minimum weight limit as possible.” David said.
This season will see Bell Rallycross, run four cars, one driven by David, Himself. With the other three piloted by, David Ward, Co-owner of Progressive Motorsport; James Osbourne an 18-year-old from Kent, competing in his first full season; and Stratis Hatzistefanis, who returns for his 2nd season.
The main goal for David this season, is retaining the title, but that is likely to be easier said than done, as there is some very strong competition.
“The field is strong once again, particularly Martin Hawkes, last years runner-up and 2017 champion, and David Ward too, who had a strong finish to 2018, the reality is though that any of the top six drivers are in with a chance of taking the title. That said a championship 1/2 would be nice for Bell Rallycross.”
And what lies beyond 2019 for Bell Rallycross? They are content to stay with the BMW Mini championship for the foreseeable future, as progressing up the ranks requires more investment, both in time and money.
“We’re really happy where we are, the Minis are very reliable and cheap to run, and above all else fun.”