Ray Bellm

Full Name:
Raymond Anthony Bellm
Born:
20th May 1950 (Age 69)
New Malden, London
Nationality:
British
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

This English businessman was a late starter in motor racing although that did not prevent him from enjoying much success in endurance racing.

Historic racing and Thundersports

Ray Bellm first raced a historic Chevron B8 before adding a pair of Formula 1 Williams cars to his collection. He spent 1983 in British Thundersports with a Chevron B36 but it was his association with Gordon Spice that led to success.

Group C2 Champion with Spice

They shared Spice’s Tiga GC84-Cosworth in the Group C2 class of the 1984 World Sportscar Championship and scored five class victories (including at Le Mans) a year later to win the class title. They successfully defended their crown in 1986 – consistency the key as they only won twice with the rival Ecurie Ecosse team quick enough to wrestle the teams’ title from Spice’s grasp.

After a year away, Bellm was Spice’s co-driver once more in 1988 and their Spice SE88C-Cosworth won seven of the 11 races (including another Le Mans success) to clinch a dominant third championship victory.

Graduation to Group C1

Spice Engineering graduated to the senior C1 class in 1989 with Bellm partnering former F1 driver Eliseo Salazar. However, the Cosworth DFZ-powered SE89C proved unreliable and no match for the manufacturer-backed teams, especially in qualifying. He bowed out at the end of the year.

Touring cars and FIA GTs

He drove a Ford Sapphire in the 1990 British Touring Car Championship but returned to international endurance racing in the new FIA-sanctioned GT series from 1994. With backing from Gulf Oil, Bellm formed his own team (GTC Racing) in 1995 and entered a pair of McLaren F1-GTR-BMWs. It was a triumph – winning five times with regular co-driver Maurizio Sandro Sala and finishing fourth overall at Le Mans.

They narrowly lost the title to rivals West Competition although there was no mistake in 1996. James Weaver replaced Sandro Sala and they swept to four victories and the Global GT Championship. Bellm’s interest gradually waned towards the end of the decade as he concentrated on his business affairs.