Virginia (VIR): Justin Bell preview

Justin Bell begins new era at VIR. Set on winning event that bears his name. Delray Beach, Fl  (Oct 23, 2002)             Justin Bell rejoins the Trans-Am Series action during the season finale, the VIR SpeedFest, Presented by the ...

Justin Bell begins new era at VIR.
Set on winning event that bears his name.

Delray Beach, Fl  (Oct 23, 2002)             Justin Bell rejoins the Trans-Am Series action during the season finale, the VIR SpeedFest, Presented by the Justin Bell GT Motorsports Experience at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va.   The race will be broadcast live on Speed Channel, Sunday, Oct 27 at 1 p.m. ET. 

Justin will be back in his familiar orange and blue #40 Xtreme Lens/Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette.  The 2001 Ameri-Suites Rookie of the Year is determined to conquer his named raced and end this year season in the same fashion as he did in 2001; victoriously.

"This season has been so messy for both Jim Derhaag and myself that we want to end on a high note," said Bell.  "We have done as much as we can with what we had. Second place on my home turf in Miami was great and to follow it with a win at VIR would be a huge boost to all of our somewhat damaged emotions at the team. I have to thank Jim for all his support this year.  He deserves all the credit for anything we may pull off this weekend."

The 2002 Trans-Am Series racing season began with such promise for Justin Bell.  However, sponsorship struggles and mechanical problems have plagued his sophomore year.  Bell rebounded with a second place finish during the Grand Prix of the Americas.  His only other 2002 podium was at Mosport.  In 2001, Bell won the final two Trans-Am Series races and nearly made history when he challenged for the win during the first 2002 race at Long Beach.

Justin Bell is the managing partner of the Justin Bell GT Motorsports Experience, founded in January 2001.  The Chevrolet driving school is based in Florida.  Bell will host a school Oct. 28-31 at VIR.  It marks the first three-day Justin Bell GT school program to be held at the historic track.  Justin views the pairing of the event and the school as a natural fit.

"The Justin Bell GT Motorsports Experience has been involved with this race since it was announced at the start of the year. We have a great working relationship with VIR and so we are very excited about having our name on the door. The three days after the race is when we are holding our first ever VIR Three day race school and the response has been fantastic. We are sold out and it is a good indicator that we will be doing more business up here!"

Virginia International Raceway first operated from 1957 through '74, then was dormant for 26 years before reopening for the 2000 racing season.  Bell feels that the 3.27-mile, 17-turn road course at VIR, which features 130 feet of elevation changes, will be an enjoyable challenge for both the competitors and the students.

"I think all the drivers have been looking forward to this final race of the season at VIR. In some ways we have no idea what to expect of the upgraded track, but we do know that it will provide some of the most demanding driving we have seen all year"

Justin Bell nurtured and developed his passion for speed and competitive racing from an early age which, combined with the added encouragement of his World Champion father, Derek Bell, allowed him to carve his own place in history. Since beginning his career in 1988, Justin has achieved many major racing accomplishments including his winning of the 1998 Le Mans GT2 race and the 1997 FIA GT2 World Championship.

-cw-

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Justin Bell , Derek Bell