Visteon/Patrick Racing Has Disappointing Start To 2002 FedEx Championship Series Season MONTERREY, Mexico--Visteon/Patrick Racing's Townsend Bell got into a first lap incident that knocked him out of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series season ...
Visteon/Patrick Racing Has Disappointing Start To 2002 FedEx Championship Series Season
MONTERREY, Mexico--Visteon/Patrick Racing's Townsend Bell got into a first lap incident that knocked him out of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series season opening Tecate Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey today on the Fundidora Park road course in Monterrey, Mexico.
Bell, a rookie, who was making just his third CART start and first on a road course, qualified the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota/Reynard/Bridgestone entry ninth. After getting through the first few turns of the race in good shape the talented and aggressive native of California attempted to pass former Visteon/Patrick Racing teammate Jimmy Vasser in Turn #5. Unfortunately, he ended up sliding into the back of Kenny Brack knocking all three cars from the race.
"I was going up the inside of Turn #5 trying to make a move on Jimmy Vasser and went on a part of the track where there was little to no grip. I got into Kenny Brack's left rear with my right front as he was turning into the corner. It was a little bit of an optimistic move on my part and the incident was my fault. I am obviously disappointed for my sponsor Visteon and the whole Visteon/Patrick Racing team. I also feel bad for Jimmy and Kenny. I just have to put this behind me and go to the Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix and try and improve," Bell said.
Bell, who is competing in his first full CART season, is the 2001 Dayton Indy Lights Champion. Bell also ran two races for Visteon/Patrick Racing in 2001, both on ovals. Bad weather cancelled qualifying at both events forcing the native of California to start from the back of the field. However, the resident of San Luis Obispo, California showed his mettle by finishing 13th in his CART debut at the German 500K at EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany and 12th, earning his first CART Championship point, at Rockingham in Corby, England. Because he only ran two CART races last year, Bell retains his rookie status.
Next up for Visteon/Patrick Racing is an oval test at Homestead Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Round #2 of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series is the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on the streets of Long Beach, California April 12-14.