Bell Leads Camaro Contingent at Daytona
Ready for double duty at Daytona
Daytona Beach, FL (27 January 2011) -Matt Bell first burst onto the scene by scoring a flurry of record-setting pole positions while on his way to race victories behind the wheel of a BMW. But since joining Stevenson Motorsport to drive the Chevrolet Camaro GS.R in GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition, Bell has really made a name for himself by setting new benchmarks with the Camaro GS.R.
From taking the first-ever pole position with the machine and leading its first laps to scoring the first podium result for the car, Bell has ben a key player as the Camaro's development has accelerated in the hands of Stevenson Motorsports.
In qualifying at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, Bell once again held up his end of the bargain has he set the fastest time of the Camaro machines in qualifying for Friday's GRAND-AM 200. The quick time of 1:57.546 broke the existing track record by nearly two full seconds, and will see Bell start the race from fourth on the grid.
"When we are in a draft, the car feels competitive and the draft works as it should. But when we are out of a draft, the other guys really leave me on the oval," said Bell. "As long as we keep up with people where they are not going to run away and we can stick in the draft, we should be ok. We've been hunting for a set up all day long. We made some changes and my engineer Nick figured some things out and John Edwards had some very good feedback that helped us today, and we were much quicker."
The Daytona race start marks Bell's third GS start in the category, with a winning effort in 2009 his best result to date on the 3.56-mile circuit.
"It is really important to get a good clean start and make sure there are no problems early on," said Bell, who will also be running the No. 77 Office Depot Dallara-Ford in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. "I'm a lot more confident about the car for the race after experiencing the pace we had in qualifying today. It'd be great to open the year with a strong points finish and maybe even a podium. I've got a lot of racing on my plate this weekend, and I couldn't be happier."