BELL BREAKS CONTINENTAL TIRE SPORTS CAR CHALLENGE; TRACK RECORD AT MID-OHIO, GIVING CAMARO FIRST POLE David White Becomes First Street Tuner Driver With Multiple Poles This Season LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 18, 2010) - Matt Bell broke the ...
BELL BREAKS CONTINENTAL TIRE SPORTS CAR CHALLENGE; TRACK RECORD AT MID-OHIO, GIVING CAMARO FIRST POLE
David White Becomes First Street Tuner Driver With Multiple Poles This Season
LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 18, 2010) - Matt Bell broke the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge track record Friday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, earning his sixth career Grand Sport (GS) class pole position and first of the season in the No. 6 Sunoco Chevrolet Camaro.
It also marked the first pole for the new generation Camaro, which began competing in the 2009 season finale. Bell's time of 1:33.635 (86.813 mph) narrowly bested his record time of 1:33.665 last season on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn track. Bell co-drives with Jeff Bucknum.
"We struggled almost from the time we unloaded, but during qualifying, it was perfect," Bell said. "This track changes constantly, and it's a guessing game as to how you'll run every session. Getting the pole was surprising for exactly that reason. I just want to bring Jeff a car that he can race to the finish."
Bell also dedicated the pole to crewmember Adrian Lindsay, who suffered a knee injury Thursday and could not make it to the track.
Joining Bell on the front row was Jack Roush Jr., in the No. 61 ROUSH Performance Products Ford Mustang GT, who set a time of 1:33.641 (86.808 mph). He and Billy Johnson are aiming for their second victory of 2010.
Rounding out the top five were Andrew Hendricks (1:33.682; 86.770 mph) in the No. 45 Stable One Racing BMW M3 he shares with Terry Borcheller; James Gue (1:33.722; 86.733 mph) in the No. 37 Trumansburg ShurSave Ford Mustang Boss 302R he co-drives with Bret Seafuse and Steve Jenkins (1:33.736; 86.720 mph) in the No. 38 BRM Watches Porsche Cayman he shares with Jean-Francois Dumoulin.
In the Street Tuner class, David White picked up his second pole of the season in the No. 80 Performance Friction/RAYS Engineering BMW 328i he shares with owner and co-driver James Clay. White turned in a time of 1:37.195 (83.633 mph); he and Clay are shooting for their first podium finish of 2010.
"I've had a lot of laps around this track, and this car was just dialed up from the get-go," White said. "We worked hard between James and I to find speed, and while this track favors a lighter car than ours, we'll focus on a strong brake package to keep us in contention."
Second was Paul Gerrard, who gave RRT Racing its first-ever front row start in the series in the No. 18 RRT Racing BMW 328i. Gerrard lapped the track at 1:37.320 (83.526 mph) in the No. 18 he shares with Martin Jensen.
Rounding out the top five in ST were points co-leader David Thilenius (1:37.444; 83.420 mph) in the No. 74 Skunk2/HPD Honda Civic Si he shares with Lawson Aschenbach; Taylor Hacquard (1:37.661; 83.234 mph) in the No. 32 Mazda/Cybernation MAZDASPEED3 he co-drives with Pierre Kleinubing and Mark Congleton (1:37.750; 83.159 mph) in the No. 196 Cruise America/4 Winds RV Mini Cooper S he shares with BJ Zacharias.
A final 30-minute practice session for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge begins at 8 a.m. ET, with the two-and-a-half hour EMCO Gears Classic scheduled for 1:15 p.m. ET.