Ian Bell’s genocide has left a hole in North East motorcycling that can’t be filled
June 11, 2016 - accent chair
Today’s Burning Rubber was meant to be a preview to subsequent weekend’s BTCC during Croft, though instead it belongs to Ian Bell.
Ian was killed on Friday afternoon in a final Sidecar competition during a Isle of Man TT and his genocide has left an unfillable hole in a North East motorcycling scene.
Ian, 58 and son Carl were contesting their third TT together and were widely regarded as a good guys of sidecar racing. They didn’t have a large subsidy a large boys during a really front did though what they had was something else entirely.
They had honesty, firmness and a absolute bond that finished them quick and competitive. Ian had finished it all before in 90s, carrying started off in solos before following his father Geordie and hermit Geoff into sidecars after a large solo pile-up roughly cost him his life.
It incited out he was a flattering special outfit pilot, holding countless wins including a TT win before timid in 2004. But it wasn’t to final and when his son Carl motionless he fanciful a go, Ian came out of retirement to competition with him.
Together they clocked adult dozens of wins including a British F2 Championship pretension in 2012 and afterwards 3 years ago notwithstanding claiming he was never going back, Ian announced they would be doing a 2014 TT. “You didn’t design that, eh?” we remember Ian grinning during me. What we also didn’t design was how good they’d be.
They finished fourth in that initial race, that was also Carl’s initial ever TT and as we met them on their approach behind to parc ferme after a race, Ian was usually endangered with his boy, revelation me how special it was that Carl had achieved such a result, and how unapproachable he was that Carl was a top placed newcomer.
I was wakeful of Ian and a Bell dynasty prolonged before we indeed met him roughly 10 years ago. Through his Ian Bell Motorcycles emporium in Bedlington, Ian substantially had a palm in assisting each north easterly motorcycle racer from a final 30 years in some way.
But his heart belonged during a weed roots spin and he was always happy to support internal riders in a bar stage especially since he enjoyed racing in a clubs himself.
I met Ian and Carl together when we went to a emporium to speak them. Carl was a still one though there was no shutting Ian up, even if his extended Northumberland accent was tough for even me – a lady innate and bred in a north easterly – to understand.
He could – and constantly would – speak for hours and hours about sidecars. Despite his success with Ian Bell Motorcycles his passion for a crazy three-wheelers never dampened. He might have been assisting dozens of solo riders though zero compared to sidecars.
The Bells had this approach of being means to not competition for months on finish though spin adult to a competition and win it, and while there is a lot of bitching goes on in this sport, in 15 years I’ve never listened a bad word pronounced about Ian.
He was one of a many desired and well-respected pilots both on and off a track. He was normal. He was a operative category bloke from Bedlington. A grafter with no delusions of grandeur. He desired his competition and he desired his family and to see him out there, proudly with his child beside him in a chair was special.
You didn’t have to be a competition fan to know who he was, in fact anyone who’s ever bought a motorcycle in Northumberland, quite a Yamaha, substantially bought it from Ian. He’ll have finished we a good understanding as well. He wasn’t in a marketplace of ripping people off that is because he was so well-loved.
There will never be another Ian Bell and while ravaged that he’s left I’m unapproachable to have had a possibility to know him. He leaves a bequest that will never be forgotten.