Derek Bell - All my Porsche races - Reviews & Testimonials

derek bell book

Observer Series, June 7, 2018

'A new book offers an insight into the Porsche races of five-times Le Mans winner Derek Bell from Pagham.

'Spokeswoman Helen Holness said: "Derek Bell's name became inextricably linked with that of Porsche during his long and hugely successful career as a racing driver.

'In this new 276-page book, Bell collaborates with renowned motorsport author Richard Heseltine to give the reader a very personal insight into his  experiences racing for the legendary German marque.

'The approach taken by this latest publication from Porter Press International is to look at every race Bell drove for Porsche, in detail and with revealing comments from the book's subject. Light is cast on Bell's most prestigious victories with Porsche: four of his five in the Le Mans 24 Hours, three in Daytona 24 Hours, two in the World Sportscar Championship and many more besides.

'Bell describes the Porsches he raced, from the fearsome 917 to the iconic 956, 962 and 911. And he shares his thoughts on the now legendary drivers he raced with, including six-time Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx, the famously flamboyant Hans Stuck and two immense talents who lost their lives to the sport, Jo Siffert and Stefan Bellof. The overall effect is a fascinating trip back in time to a golden era for Porsche and sportscar racing as a whole. 

'Derek, originally from Sussex, is one of motorsport's best-known and best-loved ambassadors.

'As a sportscar racer at the highest level, his record is one of the most accomplished of all time.

'Derek first raced for Porsche in 1971 as part of the famous JWA factory team, first won Le Mans in 1975 with Mirage, then won Le Mans four more times with Porsche between 1981 and 1987.

'When establishing his reputation, he was also a force to be reckoned with in single-seaters, competing in Formula Three, Formula Two and Grand Prix racing'

Retro-Speed, June, 2018

'According to Derek Bell, MBE, if Klaus Ludwig had obeyed Porsche team orders, instead of ‘playing silly buggers’ at Le Mans in 1988 and pitting to refuel on the right lap, chances are they would have stolen Jaguars moment of glory. I like that, telling it as it is. That’s what makes this a special book.

'Bell and Richard Heseltine must have had great fun putting together this near three hundred pages that covers some thirty years. These were the days of Rothmans, 962s, rain at the Nurburgring, Stuckie, Silverstone 1,000 km and the 917 at Watkins Glen. I love every minute. 

'Derek started out in 1964 aged 23, and when he retired after Daytona in February 2000 he had chalked up two World Sports Car titles, five wins at Le Mans and a host of other victories most drivers could only dream about.

'There’s hundreds of pictures and, at the back, a comprehensive run down on all Derek’s Porsche wins. If you’re asking me: “Is this a good book?” The answer has to be an emphatic yes.'

Classic & Sports Car, August 1, 2018

'Each page drips with high-quality period photographs, ranging from trackside images to candid snaps of the racer among his peers, illuminated by fascinating anecdotes and insights from the man himself. Typical of a Porter Press production, All my Porsche races is a beautifully finished and weighty tome, worthy of any coffee table - not that it will stay there long. Far from being a procession of races results and statistics, each page comes to life with a disarming ''fireside-chat'' style that makes it difficult to put down.'

Autosport, July 26, 2018

'Porsche and Derek Bell. It was a special partnership, a combination that helped the Briton secure four of his five Le Mans victories and two world sportscar championships in the heyday of Group C machinery.

'Readers are transported from Bell's early days, racing 917Ks for the JW Automotive squad, to the tension of battling for a maiden world sportscar title in 1985. There's also the glory of securing his first Le Mans triumph with the works outfit in '81 - his second overall victory after winning the race for the first time in '75 alongside Jacky Ickx in a Mirage - to taking on the French endurance classic alongside his son Justin. A strength of the book is Bell's assessment of other competitors that he worked and fought alongside.'

Daily Express, July 28, 2018

'The names of Derek Bell and Porsche are a match made in heaven...

'This latest book ... details that partnership in more than 200 photos.'

MotorSport, September 1, 2018

'Think of Derek Bell and a Rothmans 956 normally springs to mind. There's more to him than that, of course, but that bond is strong enough to merit a book - and here it is.

'It's a blend of Heseltine's dilligent research with Bell interjecting insights - and Bell admits he remembers less than his co-author has unearthed!

'This is at its most revealing when Bell discusses his prodigious team-mate Stefan Bellof. There is a genuine feeling of affection towards the German, plus hints of exasperation over a lost world title in 1983, but it's mostly the former.

'This is whistle-stop tour - and a fine coffee table companion.'

Classic Sport Magazine, 2018

'Author Richard Heseltine unobtrusively marshals Bell's recollections and his commentary provides historical context. This is a fascinating book: Bell comes across as an engagingly modest fellow: his observations have a freshness and balance of a man with no particular axe to grind.

'It is an utterly compelling read - one feels Bell's dismay when after Porsche's withdrawal he found himself in private squads with nothing like the same resources yet he drove with the same determination whilst acknowledging the effort made by the team often with rather less competitive cars. 

'A clearer picture of life in Group C is unlikely to emerge. It might have been interesting to know how much drivers were paid at Porsche - Bell does not say, but, one suspects, they were hardly spoilt and when he and Stuck found themselves without works support from 1988, they simply took it upon themselves to secure sponsorship.

'Derek Bell has become one of the most popular figures in the historic racing scene. On the strength of the personality revealed here, it is easy to see why.'

Classic Car Weekly, August 1, 2018

'The Porter Press team has done a splendid job with this quality hardback book'

Porsche Road & Race, 2018

'All in all, this is a very well researched and well written work.

'For its honesty, simplicity and quality of presentation, this is both a useful and valuable piece of work to have on your bookshelf.'

Love for Porsche, 2018

'I loved the book from the first second I started reading, and even though familiar with many of the facts told, the book fascinated me all the way to the end.

...a great book, with awesome pictures and there's no reason a Porsche and motorsportsfan should not have it in the library.'

Historic Racing News, 2018

'the narrative is so readable and the stories so candidly interesting that I read the whole thing in one sitting. I have since gone back and re-read different parts as well because, though this is a very readable book, there is a wealth of reference material in there as well.

'However you read the book, we are sure that every sportscar fan, on either side of the Atlantic and beyond will find this an excellent way of remembering some of the greatest times in sportscar racing, recalled by pone of the finest exponents of the sport.