Bell Ready For New Jersey Return Return to racing after keeping busy with coaching between KONI rounds (29 April 2009) Millville, NJ --Throughout his rookie season of Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge competition last year, Turner Motorsport ...
Bell Ready For New Jersey Return
Return to racing after keeping busy with coaching between KONI rounds
(29 April 2009) Millville, NJ --Throughout his rookie season of Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge competition last year, Turner Motorsport racer Matt Bell arrived at each track knowing next to nothing about the facility--from what the fastest lines or best passing areas were, to even what was the quickest way back to the hotel.
But this year, those weekends of learning are paying off for the young Californian. Running his second year of KONI competition Bell is putting those lessons to use as he steps up to race in the top GS Class, teaming with Bill Auberlen in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport H&R Springs/StopTech Brakes BMW M3.
In fact, the very first time Bell got to race on a track for the second time, he won.
So as the KONI Challenge returns to action this Saturday for round 3 of the 2009 championship at New Jersey Motorsports Park, it is understandable that Bell is optimistic as he looks to build on what he learned at the 2.25-mile track in 2008.
"We were actually quite fast in New Jersey last year, but the yellow flags didn't time well with our pit strategy so the result didn't show how strong we were," said Bell. "Both Bill (Auberlen) and I really enjoy driving this track, and I think it's another place that will suit the BMW. I'm sure that the Turner guys will have a great set-up for us and hopefully we can make some ground up in the points this weekend."
It hasn't just been the race performance that has been strong for Bell, as he nabbed 3rd in qualifying at Daytona before popping off a fast lap at Homestead to take the pole position, only just hours after being cleared from the hospital following an unfun encounter of food poisoning.
Bell has been keeping busy between rounds working with an increasing roster of driving coaching clients, as his success on the track has developed into more work off of it.
"It's been a lot of fun, keeping busy with the coaching between races," said Bell. "It's great to be in a position where I'm able to help these guys get more out of every lap, and I also just enjoy getting to spend more time at the track. I also think that it helps to keep me sharp, and always thinking about what I'll be doing the next time I get in the car. Of course, I'll always prefer to have a helmet on and going racing than having a headset on to go coaching, so I'm just anxious to get going this weekend in New Jersey!"