After starting the season in an Audi R8 LMS GT4, Jason Bell says his decision to make the switch to a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport for this weekend in Long Beach was something he had been considering since the winter.
Bell indicated that he had been in discussions with Porsche as far back as the season-opening round at Circuit of The Americas, and when the Audi struggled to get up to speed at St. Pete the following week, he decided to pull the trigger.
“I actually got with Porsche at COTA before the St. Pete race, so it was already on the mind,” Bell told Sportscar365.
“I was looking at the car. George Kurtz was actually looking at this car and I looked at it a little bit, but actually the decision came after St. Pete because they had restricted the Audi so much.
“I spoke to them and they had this one in Germany and it hadn’t been sold yet, so I got it. It was here two weeks after that. I think it’s going to be the right choice.
“I still have the Audi. I have full intentions of trying to drive the Cayman, but if we go to a track where the Audi is better I’ll be driving that.”
Bell and GMG gave the new Porsche GT4 a shakedown test at The Thermal Club in California two weeks ago, and he said he was immediately impressed with the feel of the car.
“I like the car so far,” he said. “I got a lot of time in the car, so this won’t be my first time driving it. We had a really good test.
“The biggest thing to me on the comparison of it is that the Audi is very touchy. With the Audi, it’s a great car, but if you make a little mistake in it it turns into a big mistake.
“This car, coming off the corner, it seems a little more nimble. I have a lot more feel driving this car. Before when I drove the SIN, this feels a closer to that car.”
Bell wasn’t shy about setting his expectations high for his first race in the new piece of machinery, despite the fact that this marks his Long Beach debut.
“I’m looking to win my Am race for sure,” he said. “I have high expectations. I’m not here to finish last or second or third.
“I’ve never been here before, but I do like street courses and there’s probably 12 or 14 people who have never been here before. There are a lot of people on the same page.
“I’m looking forward to it because so many people haven’t been here. I’ve got to get out there and learn the track and see where we are.”