Tim Bell Ready for Daytona Debut
Daytona Beach, FL (24 January 2011) - Pianists aspire to play Carnegie Hall and rockers want to hit the stage at the Hollywood Bowl, but for racers, it's the banks of Daytona where names are made.
Young Californian Tim Bell will travel to Florida this weekend to make his professional racing debut for Doran Racing as he opens the 2011 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season at Daytona International Speedway. Graduation from the club racing ranks couldn't come in a more daunting environment, but the young college student is taking it all in stride as he prepares to drive the No. 14 BMW 128i for Doran Racing in the full season of competition with BJ Zacharias as his co-driver.
"I learned a lot during the test days, and it was good to get some of the 'first-time' things out of the way," said Bell. "Pit stops, driver changes and running with multiple classes were a few of the new things I had to get comfortable with. The test days really helped, and now I've got a better idea of what to expect. I still have some butterflies about the weekend, but I'm really looking forward to it."
Bell and the No. 14 BMW certainly came up to speed quickly, setting the fastest time in the final practice session. Even so, the rookie is keeping his expectations in check for his debut race.
"My focus is just to get as much as I can out of the car in qualifying and have a solid first stint," said Bell. "It's a long race, and a long season. So going out and trying to set the lap record my first time out isn't going to have much reward. I've got a lot to learn and I'll be picking up as much as I can every lap. I've got a responsibility to the team and to my co-driver to drive smart, and that's what I plan to do. I plan to keep focused on those two things and just have a good weekend to start the year."