Daytona Test: Bell Motorsports Saturday notes

The Kodak EasyShare Team Continues to Test at Daytona Saturday DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 8 - The consensus of the Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Racing team Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway was that it made progress in testing...

The Kodak EasyShare Team Continues to Test at Daytona Saturday

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 8 - The consensus of the Bell Motorsports/Feeds the Need Racing team Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway was that it made progress in testing today, but not quite as much progress as it made Friday.

The Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Pontiac turned approximately 60 laps in testing Saturday as it prepares to defend its 2004 Rolex 24 victory on Feb. 5-6. Terry Borcheller did approximately 24 laps; Paul Tracy did about 21; and Christian Fittipaldi and Ralf Kelleners each turned about eight laps.

The team worked hard at getting accustomed to its new Hoosier tires and working with the car's traction control system and its engine mapping system.

The team was ninth in the first practice session of the day, which was delayed three hours due to track maintenance. The car's fastest lap in that session was a 1:49.183/117.381 mph, according to Grand American's timing and scoring department.

In the evening session the team was 12th fastest with a 1:49.213/117.349 mph.

Team owner Jim Bell cautioned everyone to remember that this weekend is a test session, not a competition. "We aren't even trying to lay down a fast lap; I won't let our drivers do that," he said. "This is testing for an endurance race, not qualifying. We have a plan and we're sticking to it. Hopefully it will work and next month it will pay off."

Testing is scheduled to continue Sunday from 10:15 a.m. until noon and again from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m.

Car owner/driver Forest Barber traveled back to his home state of Texas to attend a basketball game one of his daughters was playing in on Saturday, but he returned to the track late Saturday night.

The plan is for Barber to get the chance to test tomorrow morning, and then give a special guest driver a chance to try out a Daytona Prototype.

That guest driver is Emerson Fittipaldi, the two-time Formula 1 World Champion, two-time Indy 500 winner, and Christian Fittipaldi's uncle.

"He's been our friend for ages and he said he wanted to see what these cars are like to drive, so we're going to give him that opportunity," Bell said.

"I love the Daytona Prototype category," Fittipaldi told a Grand American representative. "I watched the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in September, and I want to have a test tomorrow to see how I feel. I like these cars very much. They are very similar and they are fun to drive. I spoke to Paul Tracy, and he said they were fun to drive. I'll see for myself tomorrow."

For more information, the team's Web site is at www.feedstheneedracing.com. The Grand American section of Kodak's Web site is at www.Kodak.com/US/en/consumer/garr/. Bocheller's Web site is at www.tborcheller.com; Christian Fittipaldi's is at www.fiittipaldionline.com; Tracy's is at www.paultracy.com and Kelleners' is at www.kelleners-sport.com. Other interesting information can be found at www.grandamerican.com, www.speedtv.com and www.restartcommunications.com.

-bms/lm-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ralf Kelleners , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Terry Borcheller , Emerson Fittipaldi , Forest Barber