Bell Scores Third on Daytona Grid; First GS qualifying effort nets immediate results (22 January 2009) Daytona Beach, FL--Matt Bell impressed in his GS Class qualifying debut on Thursday as he qualified the No. 96 Turner Motorsport H&R ...
Bell Scores Third on Daytona Grid; First GS qualifying effort nets immediate results
(22 January 2009) Daytona Beach, FL--Matt Bell impressed in his GS Class qualifying debut on Thursday as he qualified the No. 96 Turner Motorsport H&R Springs/StopTech Brakes BMW M3 third on the KONI Challenge grid after posting a fast lap time of 2:00.553-seconds around the 3.56-mile oval-based road course at Daytona International Speedway. The Fresh From Florida 200 event marks the first race in the GS class for Bell, who will team with Bill Auberlen to open the 11-round 2009 KONI Challenge season.
"We struggled a little bit with the handling in the first session, but Bill and our engineer Jim tried a few things and by the time we got to qualifying, the car was just hooked up and so easy to drive," said Bell. "I'm having a blast. This car is much quicker than anything else that I've experienced before, and to be moving that quickly around the high banks is just a ton of fun!"
The fifteen minute qualifying session was the first step forward in what Bell hopes to be a fruitful season as he puts the lessons learned during his rookie KONI Challenge season last year to good use. Having already experienced the high banks of Daytona last season, he was able to immediately focus on the task at hand in qualifying.
"We had some traffic earlier in the session, but then I got some clear space and so I just went for it," said Bell. "The car's great on the infield as well as on the banking. Now just want to go racing tomorrow. My focus is to get a good start, make good decisions, and put this car in position for Bill to bring it home with a good result."