Tenth For Bell and Auberlen in New Jersey; Bell leads convincingly after starting from pole position (2 May 2009) Millville, NJ--Matt Bell might be racing in his first season of GS class competition, but on Saturday the young Californian looked...
Tenth For Bell and Auberlen in New Jersey; Bell leads convincingly after starting from pole position
(2 May 2009) Millville, NJ--Matt Bell might be racing in his first season of GS class competition, but on Saturday the young Californian looked like a wizened veteran as he led the Garden State 250 from pole position at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Sharing the No. 96 Turner Motorsport H&R Springs/StopTech Brakes BMW M3 with Bill Auberlen, Bell led 28 laps before turning the machine over to his co-driver on a well-timed Turner Motorsport pit stop.
Auberlen and fellow Turner driver Joey Hand ran in tandem as they moved up the order during the second half of the two hour, 30 minute race. Unfortunately the fortunes for the No. 96 turned for the worse as contact from another car forced Auberlen back into the pits to replace a broken wheel.
The Turner team machine of Hand and Chris Gleason went on to finish second.
"That was some bad racing luck," said Bell, now sounding like a veteran after having driven like one. "I had to balance staying out front with how much of the car I was using. Bill did an awesome job, but unfortunately he just got hit hard enough that the tire went down, and that cost us today. Turner Motorsport called a perfect race strategy again and everything was going exactly to plan. At least Bill rallied to get back into the top ten and picked up some points for the weekend. Congratulations to Chris and Joey on their podium. It'd have been great to join them up there today, but we'll come back and fight for it next time!"
The race is set to be shown on SPEED at 12:00 PM-May 9. Bell will be back in Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge action in two weeks' time as the series visits Bell's home track for the Verizon 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 16.