Multiple champion racing driver Derek Bell MBE shared memories of his long career on the track at an event hosted at the National Motor Museum by accountancy, investment management and tax group Smith & Williamson.
Derek, who won the Le Mans 24 Hours race five times, the Daytona 24 three times, the World Sportscar Championship twice, and also had an illustrious Formula One career, was joined by invited guests, several of whom drove their classic and sports cars, to the drinks reception in Beaulieu.
The event allowed exclusive access to the National Motor museum and a Q&A session featuring Derek and motorsport radio broadcaster, presenter and producer Alan Hyde.
“It’s wonderful to be here at the National Motor Museum in the year that marks Porsche’s 70th birthday,” said Derek.
“As I look back on my racing career and compare it to how contemporary drivers operate, there is no doubt that motorsport is much easier now due to all the technical aids which the drivers have – but at the same time it is much more physical than it was in my day.”
Derek said technological innovation would completely change the face of motor racing in the coming decade.
“Electric cars will become the norm and of course we have to think about the environment. But I just love the sound of a combustion engine thrusting along. When you can’t hear the cars coming or going, it doesn’t really ‘do it’ for me – I need a noise and a smell.”
The event was hosted by Smith & Williamson’s Salisbury and Southampton offices and formed part of the firm’s sponsorship of the Goodwood Revival Car Show, where around 4,500 pre-1966 cars will be on show at the circuit in West Sussex from 8-10 September.
“Derek Bell is one of the most successful and highly respected racing drivers this country has ever produced and the famous National Motor Museum at Beaulieu has one of the finest collections of cars, motorcycles and motoring memorabilia in the world. The combination of great speaker and celebrated venue ensured that it was a fascinating evening for visitors,” said Lisa Ball, partner at the Salisbury office of Smith & Williamson.
Andrew Edmonds, managing partner at the Southampton office of Smith & Williamson, said: “We had over 250 business owners and influential individuals from across the region at our Beaulieu event. This was a unique opportunity for them to meet one of the leading figures in UK motor sport at one of its most iconic locations.”
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Notes to editors
Smith & Williamson is a leading financial and professional services firm providing a comprehensive range of investment management, tax, financial advisory and accountancy services to private clients and their business interests. The firm’s c1,800 people operate from a network of 11 offices: London, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Dublin (City and Sandyford), Glasgow, Guildford, Jersey, Salisbury and Southampton. Smith & Williamson is part of The Tilney Smith & Williamson Group.