The newly formed Alianza-Gilbert Motorsports partnership announced Wednesday that it has signed drivers Anthony Simone and Jason Bell to pilot it’s Norma M30 entry in the IMSA Prototype Challenge in 2019.
Simone and Bell’s first run together will be in the Jan. 4-6 Roar Before The Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, a prelude event to the Rolex 24 Hours on January 26-27.
The team had originally announced last week that Simone and Rodrigo Pflucker would be its drivers, but Bell has apparently changed that dynamic.
“Last week we announced Anthony and another competitor (Pflucker) as drivers in our program, but as is the case in motorsports at times, some things change,” Alianza Motorsports’ official Lorne Kelly said in a media release. “We are very happy to welcome Jason Bell to the team and feel he will be a great fit.”
Added Alianza-Gilbert Motorsports’ partner Henry Gilbert, “We would like to welcome Jason to the team with open arms. I am confident that we have the car, the crew, the team and now the drivers to challenge for a strong finish in Daytona.”
Although Bell is a veteran sports car racer, the Roar Before the Rolex 24 will be his first career LMP3 race. He is also currently competing in an Audi R8 GT4 LMS.
“I have driven in several different events and vehicles over the past two years, and I have always had my eye on the LMP3 cars,” Bell said. “I followed the Alianza – Gilbert Motorsports team during the tire test last week and they showed great pace.
“I have taken part in several endurance events throughout the 2018 season and understand the dynamics of a long race. My job is to keep the car out of trouble and help Anthony and I garner the best result possible. I know Anthony is competing for the overall series championship, but as drivers, we want to win and be on the podium, so that is the ultimate goal.”
While the new Alianza-Gilbert partnership will debut at The Roar Before the Rolex 24 as just a single-car team, plans are in the works to add another team in time for the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 16.
“We have several developments and programs in the works and hope to have announcements in the very near future,” Kelly said. “2019 is going to be very big for Alianza – Gilbert Motorsports and January can’t come quick enough.”