Derek Bell Named Grand Marshal For The 43rd Anniversary Of The Rolex 24
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Dec. 14, 2004) -- Derek Bell, a three-time Rolex 24 At Daytona champion and one of the most popular drivers in international sports car racing history, will serve as the Grand Marshal of the 43rd anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona at historic Daytona International Speedway.
"It's an honor to have Derek Bell preside as Grand Marshal in the toughest and most demanding sports car endurance race in the world," Speedway President Robin Braig said. "His success at Daytona International Speedway speaks for itself and we're looking forward to his starting command for the twice-around-the-clock challenge."
"With his long and distinguished career in sports car racing, we're delighted to have Derek Bell serve as grand marshal of America's most historic road race," President and CEO Rolex Watch USA Allen Brill said.
The Rolex 24, the season-opening event for the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, will serve as the Grand Opening to Daytona International Speedway's newly renovated infield, which includes a Turn 1 tunnel, FanZone, new garages, waterfront specialty vehicle parking and a new Gatorade Victory Lane and Daytona 500 Club.
Bell made the first of 20 starts in the Rolex 24 in 1971 and was part of three overall winning teams in 1986, 1987 and 1990. In addition, he won 19 IMSA events including the 1984 IMSA Finale at Daytona International Speedway.
The British driver has also competed at Daytona International Speedway in the Crown Royal IROC Series, an invitation-only All-Star series, and posted finishes of fourth in 1985 and ninth in 1987.
"It's a great honor and I hope to fulfill the role correctly," Bell said. "Winning the race three times was a great honor. I've had my share of luck obviously, but I've had my share of bad luck also."
Bell, 63, remains active in the Motorsports community serving as a television commentator and occasional competitor.
The 43rd anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will be held at Daytona International Speedway on the weekend of Feb. 5-6, 2005 and tickets can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling (386) 253-7223. Additional information on the 2005 Rolex 24 and Rolex Sports Car Series is available online at www.grandamerican.com.