SCC: Watkins Glen: Matt Bell preview

Bell Bringing Podium Momentum Upstate To Watkins Glen Watkins Glen, NY (3 June 2009) -- Matt Bell knows that in a long championship season, just like in a long-duration corner, momentum can be key. Bell generated some positive momentum in his...

Bell Bringing Podium Momentum Upstate To Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen, NY (3 June 2009) -- Matt Bell knows that in a long championship season, just like in a long-duration corner, momentum can be key. Bell generated some positive momentum in his last racing outing, qualifying on the front row and leading the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge race at Lime Rock Park before finishing on the podium with co-driver Bill Auberlen with a run to third place. So it's understandable that he is looking forward to keeping that momentum going as he and Auberlen once again team up in the Turner Motorsport BMW M3 this weekend at Watkins Glen International.

The famed 3.4-mile circuit will set the stage for round 6 of the KONI Challenge championship season, and the 2.5-hour race will be a combined event with the GS Class sharing the 3.4-mile track with the ST Class.

After getting a running start to the season, Bell's championship aspirations suffered significant blows in the form of two tough DNF's, but he's far from conceding anything just yet as he looks ahead through the KONI Challenge season.

"It would take a lot of things happening exactly right for us to get back to the top," said Bell, who won the opening round at Daytona International Speedway to kick his GS Class campaign in gear. "But on the other hand, you just never know what is going to happen as the season plays out. So you just have to put your head down, and be smart about getting everything you can out of each weekend points-wise and just make good decisions out on the track."

Bell made a lot of good decisions in his Lime Rock Park outing, once again leading the race for numerous laps on his way to being part of a very good day for Turner Motorsport. The momentum gained from his run to third place is something that Bell is looking forward to capitalizing on this Friday at Watkins Glen, a track where he netted one of the quickest race laps in his ST class debut last season.

"It's an awesome track," said Bell. "I'm excited about the weekend. Watkins Glen is similar to Lime Rock, and it suits my driving style. Even though we probably aren't going to get as many Turner Motorsport fans as we had at their home track on Memorial Day, the team has a really strong following up there, and hopefully we can stand on the podium again at the end of the race."

And while it's been a two-week hiatus for most of his competitors, Bell got some extra seat time at California Speedway, campaigning another Turner Motorsport BMW as he returned to BMW Club Racing competition behind the wheel of Auberlen's former Speed World Challenge racer.

The Watkins Glen race weekend will kick off with practice on Thursday, with a busy Friday highlighted by the 12:30 qualifying session to set the grid ahead of the scheduled 4:00 PM ET race start.

The race will be broadcast June 14, 2:00 PM on Speed.

-credit: sgm

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Matt Bell
Teams Turner Motorsport