Matt Bell will join K2R Motorsports for the remainder of the IMSA Prototype Challenge season, beginning with this weekend’s round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The British driver will team with Naveen Rao in the No. 64 Ligier JS P3 Nissan for Saturday’s three-hour race.
The pairing between Bell and K2R has produced success in one-off races in the past. Limited to Sebring International Raceway, Bell finished fourth with longtime co-driver Jim McGuire in 2018 and followed that up with a third-place podium finish with McGuire at Sebring earlier this year.
The two also teamed up last November for the Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore and finished second alongside teenager Kay van Berlo.
It was that weekend at the Encore, combined with the impressive development for Rao, who sits fourth in points, that put the wheels in motion for Bell to team up with K2R Motorsports.
“We’re very happy with our results, but we expect more, and we know we can show more,” said team owner Bobby Golasinski.
“The 64 car with Naveen has shown a lot of promise, but we think we can still get more out of it. I think our whole team, we’ve shown we’ve added speed, we just haven’t quite produced the results yet. We’re hoping to change that.”
Rao had teamed with Alex Barron in the first three races of the season.
Bell credits McGuire, the CEO of AERO Advanced Paint Technology, for helping bring this opportunity together, following their one-off run with the team at the Michelin Encore last year.
Bell and McGuire regularly compete in Europe together with United Autosports, including a Michelin Le Mans Cup campaign this year.
“I would say that’s where it kicked up a bit of momentum,” said Bell. “We did a P3 race earlier that season. That first time we didn’t really test, we just showed up for the event and I didn’t do many laps.
“The Encore we spent a lot more time together, two days of testing. I spent a lot more time with the team. That’s when I really got to know the guys at K2R.
“I’m very happy to be coming back and doing a few IMSA races. I’ve followed the [IMSA Prototype Challenge] race results for a variety of reasons and I took an interest in K2R once I started having a relationship with them. You’re always looking to see where things you’re involved in are growing across the world especially when you want to do that yourself.
“I’ve followed it quite closely and it’s been exponential growth, really, and it’s very good to see. Hopefully it will continue to grow. Most races have been 20 cars plus which as a standalone may be the largest in the world.”
A total of 20 LMP3 entries are expected for this weekend’s race, with the second three-hour endurance race of the season.