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Alarm bell rings for GT star's race rivals.

NORTH Yorkshire racer Matt Bell took his first victory of 2013 at the season finale of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, as he and team-mate Mark Patterson narrowly missed out on title glory at Donington Park.

The United Autosports duo qualified in seventh for the 120-minute thriller and it was Bell's teammate Patterson who began the race in the Audi R8 LMS Ultra.

Patterson made a strong start to pass title challenger Marco Attard and move up to fourth by lap 20, as he then set about reeling in the Beechdean Aston Martin of Andrew Howard.

Patterson's attack fell away temporarily as he was forced to defend from a charging Gregoire Demoustier, who found a way past the Audi on lap 25, but he remained hot on the Frenchman's heels and as Demoustier passed Howard, Patterson followed.

As the pitlane window opened at the 50-minute mark, Bell assumed control behind the wheel and he made instant headway, passing the FF Corse Ferrari of Rob Barff to move up into second on lap 40.

Bell soon set about reeling in leader Joe Osborne, with the gap to the 888 Optimum Racing driver down to well under a second at times.

His patience was rewarded when Osborne was penalised, handing the lead to Bell with around 26 laps remaining.

Once out in clear air, Bell was at ease and hen powered to victory.

"Towards the end I was able to get my head down and just get the maximum from the Audi," he said.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Oct 8, 2013
Words:253
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