SCC: Mid-Ohio: Matt Bell race report

Matt Bell Has Strong Run out Front at Mid-Ohio Lexington, OH (19 June 2010)- In every significant motorsports development effort, progress is marked with benchmarks as the program builds speed and momentum towards the ultimate goal of ...

Matt Bell Has Strong Run out Front at Mid-Ohio

Lexington, OH (19 June 2010)- In every significant motorsports development effort, progress is marked with benchmarks as the program builds speed and momentum towards the ultimate goal of victory.

Matt Bell had an outstanding race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course as he notched off two significant benchmarks for the Riley Technologies-built Chevrolet Camaro in GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition.

On Friday, Bell set a new track record--the time he set in qualifying for the pole last season--with the No. 6 Sunoco Fuels Camaro for Stevenson Motorsports to take the first-ever pole for the Camaro.

Saturday saw Bell convert his pole position into a stout run up front as he lead the opening ten laps in the EMCO Gears Classic for round seven of the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tires Challenge championship.

Bell, who joined the team in 2010 after Stevenson first debuted the Camaro in the 2009 season-finale event, has now been part of the first-ever podium finish with the machine, first pole position for the team, and also the first laps led for the Grand Sports entry.

While the run up front seemed like a seamless day at work for Bell, the office was a much busier place than normal as something was mechanically amiss, forcing the young Californian to put his rally driving skills to work.

"Our car is really struggling," said Bell. "We thought we had a broken differential, but we're not sure. We changed it, and it never came back. It's exactly the same. When you enter the corner it's sideways, when you reach the apex it's sideways, and then coming off the corner it's sideways. We really struggle trying to put the power down. It was definitely a handful trying to keep Jack (Roush) behind me for awhile. Considering all those things with the Sunoco Camaro, Stevenson Motorsports did an awesome job giving us a competitive car, even though it had a bit of a handicap."

The run to the front didn't end up the way Bell had been hoping for as he and co-driver Bucknum were not able to return to the podium, but the Mid-Ohio weekend was still another page in Bell's book as he continues to grow his reputation as a lighting-fast qualifier and a canny racer.

"It was pretty clean racing out there," said Bell after his multiple duels "He's (Hand) a finishing driver and he can damage it and try to finish with a crippled car. I started with a crippled car. I just couldn't put the power down and it was just a experiment in how well I can make it through a corner sideways. I tried to keep it fair, but I didn't want to give anything up out there. Considering all those things, the car is amazing ant it could still hold its own. It's been an up and down weekend, we've struggled a lot but it was great to get a pole. It was also great to run up front, but with such a new development like this, we just have to keep fighting to keep up wit the issues but this team can handle it and we're just going to keep working to get the Camaro the finish it is ultimately capable of."

Bell will have a modest break between rounds ahead of the New Jersey Motorsports Park race weekend July 16-7.

-source: sgm

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Matt Bell