Daytona24: Matt Bell race report

Bell Ready for More After Taking Top Ten in Daytona Rolex Sports Car Debut Daytona Beach, FL (31 January 2010) --Trophies and champagne showers are fantastic, but almost more than anything else save for these signature elements of success, top...

Bell Ready for More After Taking Top Ten in Daytona Rolex Sports Car Debut

Daytona Beach, FL (31 January 2010) --Trophies and champagne showers are fantastic, but almost more than anything else save for these signature elements of success, top racing drivers crave more seat time, faster machinery, and new challenges.

So when his full-time GRAND-AM Continental Tires Sports Car Challenge team Stevenson Motorsports invited Matt Bell to make his Rolex Sports Car Series debut this weekend in the categories "Super Bowl" event and the Rolex 24 At Daytona, there wasn't a moment of hesitation from the young Californian hot shoe as he agreed to drive the No. 97 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT. R.

After racing to fifth place in Friday's Fresh From Florida 200, the highest-placed Camaro in the field, Bell switched gears to prepare for 24 hours of action at Daytona. While Bell scored some experience last fall driving an ALMS-oriented Corvette, quickly learning how to best drive the high-power, purpose-built Camaro GT. R was a completely new experience for Bell, who shared the machine with three other racers.

Despite not having many laps in the car ahead of the race start, Bell once again acclimatized quickly, racing in challenging conditions with the Daytona Prototypes also in the mix on the 3.56-mile oval-based road circuit. Despite having a co-driver suffer contact that removed much of the front bodywork on the Camaro, Bell and the hard-working Stevenson Motorsports crew raced to an impressive 10th place finish in the highly competitive GT Class.

"This was unbelievable experience," said Bell, who had previous experience with some long-distance races at Thunderhill. "Every time I went out, the track was different, but I kept getting more and more comfortable with the car. I'd like to start the weekend over now, knowing what I do about the Camaro! I'm really happy that I had the opportunity to run this race, and making it to the finish is a pretty amazing feeling. Getting a top ten is even better. I learned so much this weekend, and the experience of going back and forth between the Continental Tire Camaro and the Rolex GT Camaro was something that I wasn't sure how to prepare for, but now I feel really good about my ability to make that kind of transition. Hopefully I'll get that opportunity again soon!"

-source: matt bell PR

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Matt Bell
Teams Stevenson Motorsports