Feb. 14, 2021

DEREK BELL Part2. Le Mans 24 and Sun Bank 24 winner! Steve Mcqueen consultant. Ford V. Ferrari

0:40 Derek talks about the cars he has in England and Florida
2:06 924 Carrera GTS.
7:33 Derek tells us what he drives daily at his Florida house! 15:15 Derek talks about his son Justin driving at Goodwood at age 17! He was amazed!
16:04 Derek talks about his amazing daughter Melanie also driving at Goodwood!
18:16 Derek on riding Enduros
18:46 I note Derek's gratitude and appreciation...and of course, to him it's all natural!
20:18 Derek talks about his hero and dear friend Sterling Moss
24:38 Jeff and Derek talk about Ford V. Ferrari, going to Paris, France for the movie debut, meeting Matt Damon, Christian Bale from the movie and Tom Christian, Henri Pescarolo and Gerald Larousse- past LeMans drivers.
26:41 Derek talks about Steve McQueen and the filming of the movie LeMans and staying with Steve.
26:52 Does Derek think Steve McQueen is really cool?
28:58 But could Steve really drive??
30:29 Derek got burned on the face while making the movie.
33:41 Derek comments on safety and Roman's Grand Prix accident.

Spotify podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
Amazon Music podcast player badge
Soundcloud podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge
YouTube podcast player badge
Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
iHeartRadio podcast player badge

0:40 Derek talks about the cars he has in England and Florida   
2:06 924 Carrera GTS.   
7:33 Derek tells us what he drives daily at his Florida house! 15:15 Derek talks about his son Justin driving at Goodwood at age 17! He was amazed!     
16:04 Derek talks about his amazing daughter Melanie also driving at Goodwood!    
18:16 Derek on riding Enduros   
18:46 I note Derek's gratitude and appreciation...and of course, to him it's all natural!   
20:18 Derek talks about his hero and dear friend Sterling Moss     
24:38 Jeff and Derek talk about Ford V. Ferrari, going to Paris, France for the movie debut, meeting Matt Damon, Christian Bale from the movie and Tom Christian, Henri Pescarolo and Gerald Larousse- past LeMans drivers.        
26:41 Derek talks about Steve McQueen and the filming of the movie LeMans and staying with Steve.      
26:52 Does Derek think Steve McQueen is really cool?    
28:58 But could Steve really drive??         
30:29 Derek got burned on the face while making the movie.              
33:41 Derek comments on safety and Roman's Grand Prix accident.    



racing, driving, car, porsche, year, ferrari, drivers, boca, people, won, stay, corvette, gts, bit, good, accident, money, lamar, thought, bought



Jeff Sterns connected through cars, if they're big wigs, we'll have him on the show. And yes, we'll talk about cars and everything else. Here he is now, Jeff Sterns.



So, now I gotta ask you, we've been together a while and you've been super generous with your time.



What's in your garage? We know you have the 550. But that's not your daily driver. I'm hearing about this Jeep.



So what do you have? My cards are really in England.



But I have, I have the the marinello. And then I have which was a dream card for me. Because I raised for Enzo, all those years ago, and always swore I'd have one that I had to during that soon after my time at Ferrari, I had a 275 GTB for and then I followed it with a Ferrari Daytona. I mean, bought it, I don't know, but they weren't expensive. They're rare. If you bought them duty, free as it were, because I traveled all around Europe in them, so I didn't need to pay tax on them. Anyway, that's another story. I always saw one day, I'll get another Ferrari before I kick the bucket. And just as luck would have it, 10 years ago, I was 10 years ago, I bought this car from my manager to David Mills. He didn't make his money out of me said that. But so David had this beautiful car, and I went and so one day, I said, If ever you sell it, I'd like to buy it from you. And then tragically, he got cancer, and he passed away. So I bought it from his wife and his widow, because they were they were probably my best friend. So what is that car? Derek? Well, what is the car? The 255 5550s from Mr. Bell? Okay, got it was David's Come on then. And then on top of that, I have



I have a very special Porsche. It's a 924 Carrera GTS. I raised one. Fortunately, with their old out or young, I'll hold it. And we raced together for the factory at Lamar in 1981.



Let me just get now at sorry, we drove them there because of course, you didn't enter the big fast cars. And whereas I haven't filled them before that.



And so I drove the American entered nine train for Carrera GT r as it was called. And then they had a British car with two big top British drivers, and then a German car with three top German drivers. And what Peter Gregg and had an accident in the American car in practice, but on the lot in the car in the road car, you ran into a farm cars, in his road code in his rental car, and he had a bit of,



you know, sort of concussion, so the doctors weren't happy for him to do 24 hours. So they took me out of the British car because I had three drivers and put me in without, and so I started the race without holbert. And we actually relying fifth that said, Hey, seven o'clock in the morning is it'll be with 300 horspath. He was absolutely astonishing. Because we were so economical. We didn't have to go for fuel more than once every four hours in the rain, and we were very good in the rain together as a pair. The car was super as well in the rain with his perfect sort of weight, chart weight balance and lack of power really bit slow on the street, I suppose. Well, not 24 hours. I mean, I remember driving them I mean, I never drove your limited edition GTs. But that was a slow acceleration car, I thought. Yeah, but if not, if you had the turbo went up from 150 to 350. Okay, slight difference. And you know, what Porsche doctor did around a bit of Anyway, I've got one of that group of cars, but it's mine is a road car, it was my option to have one.



At the end of that year, or the next year when I joined them to drive the the 912 years he drove the jewels car, the 936 in 1981. And then in 82, open x and I won, then he chose driving the jewel in the driving sorry rotmans 956. And



you had the use of a car for a year. And you could have it if you were if you wanted it.



So I I saw I had this beautiful read we all had read 924 Carrera GT SS which we didn't even know existed we knew is the SR COVID the GTR but they were never fail. And I've got one of the most so got it today. So now this is it. The farmer over here in Boca I've got nothing here.



No point here to the roads are so awful. You don't have a car here. I do but I don't have anything. So the rival rave about well, so Okay.



So what do you have not to rave about? What are you driving?



Well, let me finish what I have in your head. Sorry. And then I so I have that which I enjoy very much very special car. And basically five years very different to the general cars. And then I also have lost two years ago, Porsche Great Britain.



What would you say? developed or handbuilt 45, British legends edition 911 Carrera GTS.



gt sorry about that adult Carrera four GTs. And,



and I let them obviously, and they do a 45 built, they had 15 in my colors, because I had one of them on several times that 15 in Richard Edwards colors, which are considered to be the first driver for Porsche, that one it and the 917 and 19, whatever it was, never get it right, I suppose.



70 I think Richard won it 7070 or 7170, I think it was. And then.



And then we had



a very, very talented young Nick Tandy, who's just gone to Corvette enough this year for this next year. But he won them all in the last year of Porsches racing in the last few years. And he won them all one year for the Porsche team. So they did, they did three sections of 15 cars in our colors. And so mine sort of in the bits in the load lab, learn Brown, blue, and it's very fine Ross and stripes on the body work on a little roundel on each side, down right down low by the back wheel front wheel. So we might need number one, because I was world champion that here as well. So Porsche put it on for that particular era. And the inside is Kevlar. And very lightweight, although it's not rat, you know, it's not nasty. It's very, very luxurious, very quick, but it's a lovely car. So I'm a dream car.



So that's what I have in England here, right, we have a, we have I have a beautiful ragtop Jeep that I've had since new turquoise color. It's only one in Boca, and then we have a Porsche mechanics, which is from it, Misty runs around in? Okay.



Are there that's now the Jeep is this a latest softtop or like a CJ model or what? All I know is it's a Jeep Wrangler, and it's 20 years old. Okay. Okay. It's lovely. Everywhere I go, people go, Oh, I love your car. And they say, Well, how is this new? I can't believe it.



And I



know that that's a fabulous car. And I think a lot of people would be curious. Like, I mean, you're talking about the amazing cars, which are amazing. And we want to hear about it. But I was curious. What was in the your regular garage, here for us?



Is there any new car that does anything for you?



Yeah, lots of lovely cars. I wish I had a Porsche wish I had a Bentley, I'd love to have a Ferrari. But I mean, I just didn't see any point. Yeah, good. Where the hell are you gonna drive them up and down like 95 or 75 miles an hour. And, you know, I don't it sounds an awfully arrogant thing to say but in Britain, and if you lived in further up country in America, but living in Florida, which is what, there's nowhere to drive, there's no way to drive it. And you know, anywhere else you get, you can get books, you will get books in Europe, too. But you can go with the Alps and get it stick and drive. I mean, the trips I used to have from England down to Maranello when I was with Ferrari and go over the top of the mountains, you know, and during the day, it was just glorious, you know, driving it fast and smoothly. And it was it was gorgeous. And even now you can enjoy your drives down through Europe and across Europe. And I can drive enjoy driving, running, and then I get back to him and I take the cars out up over the downs pastored with an up towards London. And they're I mean, obviously not in the rush hour, and certain times of the day. But you know, I can go and have a blast on the roads and drive as fast as I want. No, I know I'm not 25 anymore and just want to make a noise and sort of leave rubber marks up the road. It doesn't. I've had a good time driven all sorts of things. And I'd love racing and I would race tomorrow in a race last November a year ago in that last race over the car. I'm still driving quickly, and I love it. And you know, I'm lucky to be able to sit here until the tails. That's right. How about the new Corvette? Have you driven it? And I've seen it. I think they've done a wonderful job if it's time they did do a wonderful job. You know, I mean, I thought the previous one was fantastic how they development but I mean, what it what I find intriguing and I think



Car Corvette there, dude. I mean, they General Motors or whoever was behind that program was I mean, my son Justin drove them for a year to me. Yes, and Viper as well, but I think it was one year, not two years. Anyway, he drove them for a year. And I mean, those cars were wonderful. And they did so much for their image because, you know, the Corvette went around the world racing them at Lamar Sebring at daytona around the Nurburgring. And every place you could go to, they would race, and they improve their image worldwide, they must have boosted their sales no end. And then the last, the last developments of that car was a magnificent machine. And the new one is obviously mid engined.



I think it's possible, it looks a little bit big sometimes it's funny. I've seen them around in Boca and I've sorted. I thought, when I sorted a town earlier a lot was earlier this year, I suppose. I was desperately impressed. And they said, Come on, get in, there's no way I could get in it. Because there are wires and safetruck cages, and all that sort of thing. But



I think it's just brilliant, what they've done. And that's all from the development of Motorsports. So that a classic example of what what motorsport has done for their their image is just gorgeous. I think for the money to for MSRP. Depending on equipment, it could be under 100. Yeah, we should it always has been great, isn't it? I mean, that's the whole points have been fantastic. And then having done that for years, and people saying, you know, they wanted a bit more, they then they then go racing, and then they develop it and then they really get an image worldwide. I mean, how it must have improved their image worldwide. It was fantastic. Yes, they were always a value. But now when you look at what it looks like, easily 250,000 going down the street. Yeah, it does. No, it does not. So you mentioned it must be good. You mentioned the Grand Marshal thing coming up God willing, you know, COVID



it cetera. I know you're going out of your mind being stuck at home, because you like being active. You like working, you're very social. So it's making you a little crazy. So do you have anything? I mean, you gotta look forward, right? So other than that Grand Marshal thing?



All sorts of things. Yeah. You just need this thing, right? Everything, everything. Basically, basically, everything we were doing this last year would have been transferred to 2021. With a hope that, but we'll have to just hope and pray that it all comes off. You know, it's like Amelia Island, which is in March, but you know, we write we will do it. And you know, but it's, you know, to prepare for it. They like Pebble Beach and all of them, they got to be doing it now to prepare for next year. And if that doesn't happen, it's a lot of work gone in and which costs a lot of money. So it's all very much hand to mouth. So we'll have to wait and see for all of it. Are you bottleneck because you moved everything forward? Or is it just kind of the same calendar next year? No, it's the same sort of thing. Yeah. I mean, I yeah.



I wouldn't say that sort of 1000s of people. I literally when I was coming on the air with you, I had a thing from France from an event I'd been asked to do. So I had to apply this morning, or what they wanted to reply. And it just they're fabulous events, you get to drive cars from you know, from your history on racetracks. And with some of the not weird, but there's some of the drivers from my hero. And when I drove for renova took for a year or two years actually ran a well being. And it just great. I'm so lucky to drive for sort of French team like that having room for a German team and, you know, and so on and so forth.



Just great.



Just to just the knowledge of the drivers, you know, just chatting with them. It's it's just



I just love to rehab these reunions.



I just love your point of view you you like whatever you see comes from a point of appreciation and gratitude. It seems.



Yeah, it is.



For you to say so but I mean, I guess it is it is genuine. Yes. I mean, I, I want to live it's how I want my family to live. I mean, it's there's no reason they can't. I mean, I don't know where you are what you are. I mean, like my parents.



You know, we're just regular people and



I didn't have the kind of stuff I tried to.



Now you mentioned your son Sebastian. And now I know why he didn't make fun of me for having a baby at 55. That's right. But what's he doing? is he working or



is it a university setting?



Old shaking in his fourth year of electrical engineering.



Okay, so the very smart one



was like his mother, not like me that he's very bright, but he's a fabulous driver. No kidding. Oh yeah, I saw, I saw him driving around Goodwood la just got Nick in a BMW race car, gt or touring car, whatever you want to call it one,



two, maybe three, three years ago, he was 17. And he just got in it and drowned. I couldn't believe I saw the speed of this thing coming down straight through the corners right towards where I was standing. And I went, Who the hell's that? And then I charge Lord March said to me, what you're looking so started for us? I don't know. But I said, I think that was Justin Sebastian that just went by. And he said, Really? I said, Yeah, well, the other BMW sitting here. So that was him. It was just very impressive. He's just natural. I mean, I think it's genetic. I can't explain it any more that Justin, you know, was a fabulous driver and Sebastian is just the same but what about your daughter? What about your daughter? She's she's a she's a very good driver. She's driven former three cars around Goodwood and stuff like that. Just got in it one day to call it we ran for some justice. She actually got in Justin's car, which was named for three it was more powerful than that. It was a car called Opel Lotus. And it was a lotus chassis with a local or General Motors two liter engine and adjusted rate ratio two years he came over here and now he only raced in Europe only race that that three or four years they did it General Motors supported the series and single season so we could series It was like Formula Three or whatever. You gotta know what similar formula you have to that. And it's more than formula for and quick. And Justin have done pretty well. I think he finished third in the chapter boom behind Mika Hakkinen element niche. So there's some good young drivers came through. And it was very well racing team that he drove for. And so we had the car at Goodwood. And I mean, he's terrible Baby got no footage, no filming nothing of it, you know, but Melanie gets in this thing and drives it around the racetrack. She never said and the rest of her life.



But she's very good. She is she was born into horses. So I just in racing, motocross at weekends on 100 cc Yama files, and God knows what else could Jesus and things. So he was in that he and I were doing that like wife was out with Melanie writing up bonus and doing shows. They don't call it show jack pink, she did a painting, which is where you go through the forests over the pajamas. And then you have to do with smart stuff, you know dressage, and then you have show jumping at the end. But it's sort of two or three day events. And she was really good at that.



I was waiting for you to say that. Like no one's allowed to ride motorcycles, because the safety or something. But no, no, I but I never read them. So I was I said 40 years old. So



when you're writing, are you doing like the 50 feet in the air? Was handlebars cocked all that business?



No, no, I still go. You know, we can't we get airborne or old catch every now and again. But I mean, obviously you're not.



Nobody was doing that in enduros. I mean, you're out there doing 100 miles, you know, 150 miles in a day. So you're going to forests and that vertical cliffs and government. I mean, it's wild. It's so thick. It's unbeliev Fitness. If you didn't break if you didn't pull off and hooks off, oh my god. Now from a legacy standpoint. I mean, I know that part of your legacy, and I hope you recognize it, but the attitude that you give your family this serious this gratitude and appreciation. I mean, this is I mean, you said you are what you are and all that business. But I think along the way in life, you kind of decide you you make some choices on your points of view and how to look at things. I don't think you're a complete as the wind blows your personality and attitude. You had to make some money. Was there anyone along the way that you admired or was a mentor? Or was your parents were your parents like that or did you choose luck? I really don't know. I mean, my mother had wonderful personality. My stepfather was charming man, my my my stepfather was very quiet, but love sport but he didn't participate. And thanks to him is where how I got into racing as I say all



persevered and racing couldn't have done it without him. And



my mother had is just gorgeous personality and and friendliness and hospitality, our spiritual person and everybody loved her. So and and my daughter has much the same and Justin I guess has the same Sebastian has



Same and I married misty now. And she is very much the same as his lovely personality. And I as far as you know, the rest of life, which they're the ones that dictate what I like or what we're all like. And then of course you have, you know, my, my, my hero was Sterling moss. Okay, he was, and we became thank goodness, such great friends I used to see him. I mean, he had a place near me here. We used to spend the day after Christmas together apart and have lunch and we'll go out around here in Boca and between here in Miami quite frequently, whenever he was in town, we always because he had a place down at aventura. So we and in fact, the house is my first time actually Sterling's. The reason I'm probably half live in Florida when we won the Miami Grand Prix holberton I in 1985.



We want it there. And of course, I raced at Miami two or three years. And during that period, I've known Sterling some time we've done other things together, in back in Britain, but not raced against him because he retired, he retired off his major accident 62 when I was marshaling a good word, which I suppose is something to do with my hero worship for him. And,



and he came up to me at the Miami Grand Prix after I'd won it, or we had won it, but he was on my own at the time of the prize giving walking back. And he came running up to me, and he said, Well done. Oh, boy, that was fantastic. And I got my guy said, Really? He said that that was amazing. I said, I can't believe you're saying this to me. I said, You're my hero. He said, No. He said, You are my hero. And he said, that was an astonishing drive. And



he and I became much closer. We're quite naturally close. He was a very open guy, as well, actually. But he got so much infamy, and he was so famous, certainly in Europe. I mean, he was the best known ever racing driver in reality, certainly, in Britain anyway, certainly. And he just had this amazing really embryos young. And you know, he was, he wasn't fat and flabby and just drove because he had the money he drove because he was damn good. And he was not attained. He couldn't remember the formula, basically the World Championship and he should have been, and he and I knew him so well. I mean, I can almost write a book about his heroes of mine, and our relationship. And so we got chatting while we were out at the Miami Grand Prix. So where do you stay when you're here? I said, Well, Baylor hotel, wherever it is that I come when I come over. He said he come to I've got to have our boys and Up, up up



in Fort Lauderdale, he sent over Villa there. He said, You should say that. So I then you know, you're more than welcome anytime you like. So the next year, I contacted him. I'd seen him anyway, during the year. And I said, you know, I'd love to take you up on that. So I borrowed his house for a month.



The physical Bonaventure, which still exists today, there is 75 going across alligator alley, before you go on it before alligators existed. And, and, and so he



and he said, you're gonna have that. So he went and stayed there. And while I was there, of course, I looked around and found a little biller



or a condo actually, because it would be so good. I remember by that point, it was now sort of late mid a mid to late 80s. And I was in America most of the time then. And so we bought a place out on Bonaventure and fly, she stayed in Sterling space to start with, as I say, and then then bought a place and he was like, half a half a mile away. And we stay, we were very close, and we had a good time to it. I admired him immensely. I'm talking about our relationship really too much. But, you know, his style the way he did his racing, he was an amazing man. And so, you know, he was I wouldn't, I'd certainly didn't model myself. I don't I wouldn't dream to think that I was capable of it because he was exceptionally good. But



I certainly loved his attitude. And I, you can't help it. If you like somebody a lot. And you and you spend time with them, you end up if you like, following I mean, I followed him when I was a 15 year old at school when he was alive had my little crystal radio app in my in bed at school that night, sort of listening to the Lamar 24. So he was always like,



well, there's your answer. That's wonderful. What a nice friendship. story that is.



Really what a great guy is. Now in your



you're probably tired of hearing about this Ford versus Ferrari. I know a lot of people out but you went to that debut, right?



Yeah, yes. The first screening is over in what Paris in Paris. Yeah, that was that was very nice because they had there was a cut totally. I mean, there was Tom Christian.



And Henri pescarolo,



all of whom have won all of us at one of them on numerous times.



And, and I don't know who else there was another Oh, and Gerald Larousse that he was, you know, he never won them all that many times. But he did win it for Porsche. And of course, he ran major teams in France and in French. So they had five of us drivers, something like that there. And then they'll see that, you know, Christian Bale was there and Matt Damon, you guys went to dinner, right? Yeah, we actually we didn't go to dinner with them. We were with them up on a red carpet before just for the photographs and all that nonsense. And that was nice to meet them and shake hands and chat, that sort of thing. And then we saw that movie



with an audience then the theater on the on the shores of the Z. And then afterwards, we all went to dinner but the age into they were with their wives and kids and things so they



got it all the French, you know, the the governing body from Lamar, and they got the FAA and it was lots of people it was great.



had to be interesting.



Yeah. I mean, let's say like, you're saying yourself, look, I'm getting invited to this thing. I don't I mean, I don't know if you get jaded to that. Or you say, Oh, you know, like, this is so interesting.



Well, I've never attended never actually been to a premiere before. Even looking. I'm wearing my Steve McQueen t shirt. I noticed that but why is the Indy 500? I don't know. I got it. with it. Banana Republic. All right. Well, they would forget. Yeah, I did, because I never did the Indy 500.



So here's me not even not even when I was putting looking this morning for a T shirt to put on. All I saw was Steve McQueen. I think I've had the thing. 10 years. Yeah, that it's good. laying in a dry sound like an old person. Like I have T shirts older than that now, like, Oh, my God. Yeah. But you were in the Lamar movie. And speaking of staying in Sterling's house, did you? Did you stay with Steve McQueen? Or is that just a rumor? No, we,



I mean, obviously, I didn't know my arrival movie. But I was only driving and then I got to know him very well during it. And then in the last,



probably four to six weeks, I suppose everybody's sort of accommodation where he had been staying at expired. Mine had in the house that I've rented for my family. And so we actually shared a house together.



I shared a house together, which was fun. That's when I met his son Chad and his daughter. And it was Neil his wife at that time. And it was it was just it was just a great experience. But it was also casual. The whole thing because we we've been working together for for a couple of months, two and a half to nearly three months, I suppose seemed like a year, but it was on reflection. But it was just a great opportunity to, to earn some extra money and be able to get to know our a star like Steve and the other people that were involved in. There weren't any other styles, really in the film apart from Steve. But it was about the cars really on that particular race, which is something he wanted to do.



Well, he's obviously



personifies cool. And you know, he plays cool, but you really are cool. So I'm wondering, you know what happened between you go? He was cool. I'm cool. I was green. I was like, with my eyes wide open. But, but no, he was cool. Because, I mean, you just think I got some great pictures on the wall in here. And, you know, his book and all the rest of it. I mean, that.



You know, there was a car for the French, a French kiss with death. I mean, it was he, he was he was very cool. And he was very good. As a driver. He was legit as a driver. Okay. But yeah, yeah, he was. When I reflect on it. He was I mean, I was, I wouldn't be in racing.



Five years, I showed my six season. And I hadn't raised that much for an audience. It sounds a long time. So you're really a rookie, then. Okay. I was, yeah, you weren't there.



And, you know, got to know Steven driving with him, although we weren't ever racing. But I mean, we were out there I was with Joseph and who became my teammate, the next year, a Porsche. And Joe was the one of the two top formula sports car drivers in the world apart from how good he was in f1. And sports cars, and God knows what else.



I'm so good touring cars and stuff. But and Steve would just hang in with us. I mean, we always went very quickly, we we went and near as damaged, flat out and he would always stay with us. Yeah. And at the time, we thought, Oh, that was good. But then actually when you reflect on it, and you're thinking about the cars that



He drove that 917 and I did. Somebody said he did have an accident. I do want to I don't. I never heard he did.



only heard it sounds good. But there's always people trying to throw sour grapes on something. Right. But I had an accident, he was never really reported in the certainly no photographs of it. And then, you know, the thought something would have come out by now because, you know, he died 30 years ago, so



but you got hurt in that movie, right when the Ferrari is I got the coming back from a shot with Steve. But I mean, it was it was at the time, I'd sort of photograph of me the other day, it was in a it was on the internet guys horrible. Already, it was black as hell, and really burnt. And you can just see my main thing, how I didn't Burma, I have no idea. But it was very sore for a while. But it doesn't show at all. Now it used to show quite a lot when I was tired or wet sort of, you know, worn out or under pressure. It was sort of you could see that the lines, but there isn't anything so amazing. I mean, I'm not if I go to the sun now, for example, it doesn't burn one side taller than the other. It's incredible how your body recovers from that sort of thing. Right? And I mean, but here you are doing this thing racing, driving at these speeds, like I said, watching this VHS tape, where I'm like a little nervous as the passenger in this tape. And you're okay with it. But did you ever I mean, you said every night you thought about 30% of the people dying every day. But was that like a little bit of a mortality moment where you thought twice after? Or did you just shake it off and keep going in your career? I think you shake it off, because you've got friends that have been killed. And so, but it's something you adapt to eventually, and it's not happening every day. But it's certainly certainly persistently in the back of your mind. That's for sure. But that fire in that Ferrari did that was at a moment or not so much because you were young.



Well, I wasn't Yeah, I was 40 years old. I suppose. Well, 40 to me sounds young. So I don't know how it sounds to you now.



Yeah, well, now it does.



Anyway, no matter what age I was, I must be younger than that. Yeah, I was. Yeah, I was 3030. Yeah, I was 30. Anyway, the age and come into it. No, I mean, I mean, things happen like that. I



mean, I got I got scorch, three times a month before in a Ferrari in Sparta. 1000 kilometers. My first ever racing sports, Gary. Each time I got in and turned the key, the count went up in flames rich cross it and I got burned. I burned all my eyebrows, then.



I got it. And it was it was ridiculous. But you know, there were lots of fires. And as long as you didn't really get hurt, I mean, I didn't have to go and have treatment after but I carried on to finish seventh in the race. But I bet my eyebrows



the window and they had to smash the window to try and get me out with a fire extinguisher. They broke the window to try and open the door to get me out. Because the strapping broken that opened it. But I still went in and finished the race.



And so you know, but bill because you want it all you want to do is win. You know, it's a strange so you people must think I'm completely bloody nuts. Maybe we all went nuts. I don't know. But I do. On reflection. I think you had to be a little nuts. I mean, you know, you're you're setting aside a little survival instinct to do your passion, right?



Yeah, I just can't imagine. I mean, yeah, I can't go back. I just I can't analyze that period. But you wouldn't do anything else. You would not do it. No, no,



no, no. But I mean, look at that kid that had his accident the other day, you know, in Bahrain, or wherever it was. I mean, he was the luckiest driver has ever survived a fire or an accident. And he still wants to get back in and race again, in the Grand Prix Roman. Yeah. If he was still having another go? course he would.



Because it's his journey in Russia driving those cars. But only today or this recent generation, could people walk away from accidents? Yeah, like in that f1 Grand Prix. And I'm really grateful that you went a little bit off of, you know, the resume history. I mean, you gave some phenomenal stories, but a little bit into your personal insight. So I'm completely grateful and getting this project off the ground with this podcast, and you were one of my most exciting people that agreed, even though he thought I was the Porsche guy.



That's all right.



This has been Jeff Sterns connected through cars.

Derek BellProfile Photo

Derek Bell

Racing driver, movie maker, author, Bentley brand ambassador, Porsche and Ferrari racing, Goodwood, LeMans, Father, Family man

Derek Bell MBE has enjoyed one of the most successful, diverse and wide-ranging racing careers of any British racing drivers which spans over 40 years.

Bell is best-known as the consummate endurance sports car driver who won the Le Mans 24 Hours five times, the Daytona 24 Hours three times and the World Sports Car Champion twice! He is considered to be the greatest British racing driver ever to compete in endurance racing.

His sports car racing career spans the Ferrari 512 and Porsche 917, the Gulf-Mirage era, Renault’s turbo effort at Le Mans, the Porsche 936, Porsche 956 and 962, the Kremer Porsche K8, the Ferrari 333 SP, and the McLaren F1. The latter earned him yet another Le Mans podium alongside his son Justin Bell in 1995 – a very proud moment for the father and son.