SCC: Watkins Glen: Matt Bell qualifying notes

Bell Sets Track Record on The Way Pole Position at Watkins Glen (5 June 2009) Watkins Glen, NY--Matt Bell returned to pole-winning form on Friday as he set a new track record at Watkins Glen with his 2:04.576-second flying lap time in qualifying...

Bell Sets Track Record on The Way Pole Position at Watkins Glen

(5 June 2009) Watkins Glen, NY--Matt Bell returned to pole-winning form on Friday as he set a new track record at Watkins Glen with his 2:04.576-second flying lap time in qualifying for Fridays TheGlen.com 200 for round six of the 2009 Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge championship season.

The pole position is the fourth of the season for Bell, who has qualified 3rd or better in every race so far this year as he continues to make an impressive debut GS class campaign co-driving with Bill Auberlen in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport H&R Springs/StopTech Brakes BMW M3.

Bell's previous poles so far this season have been delivered in dramatic fashion, from recovering from a night in the hospital to take pole on his very first flying lap, to making the most of changing conditions to score the pole on the last lap of the session. But on Friday, Bell's method was more straightforward as he set the fastest time to move to the top of the sheets, and then just kept on improving that time lap after lap.

And it was a good thing he did, as his constant improvement through the session saw him withstand a late-session charge from his fellow front-row starter at Lime Rock Park, who posted a lap just .022 of a second short of Bells best time as the two will once again start together on the front row on Friday afternoon.

"The Turner car has been unbelievable since the first lap of the weekend," said Bell, "It's great to be back on pole. We are still looking to get some good luck in the race and convert this into another race win, so hopefully that will happen this afternoon. I was driving as hard as I possibly could to just keep improving my times. The team let me know exactly where I was and fortunately we had enough to end up on top, so it's really satisfying for me as a driver."

Bell will not have much time to savor the achievement, as the 2.5-hour race is slated to take the green flag at 4:00 PM EDT on Friday.

-credit: sgm

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