Boris Said Teaming with Matt Bell at Barber One of Turner Motorsports' most consistent drivers returns to pilot with up-and-coming Californian Birmingham, AL (July 14, 2009) -- After taking yet another top-five finish at Mid-Ohio in June, Matt...
Boris Said Teaming with Matt Bell at Barber
One of Turner Motorsports' most consistent drivers returns to pilot with up-and-coming Californian
Birmingham, AL (July 14, 2009) -- After taking yet another top-five finish at Mid-Ohio in June, Matt Bell has been ready to return to action in the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge for nearly a month. In this Sunday's two-and-a-half hour Grand Sport (GS) race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., he'll welcome the return of Boris Said as his co-driver in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 as the two shoot for the pair's first victory together and Bell's second victory of the 2009 season.
The pair competed for the first time as co-drivers in KONI Challenge competition in May at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where Bell picked up a series-record third consecutive overall pole position. The Los Altos, Calif., driver led twice for 23 laps before turning the car over to Said, who has been a speedy and colorful part of Turner Motorsports' championship legacy.
Said ran near the front during his stint before mechanical problems forced him to pull off on the main straightaway and into the pits. Bell, who won the season-opening Fresh From Florida 200 at Daytona International Speedway, has reason to believe the team will accomplish good things this weekend at Barber as Said steps in for Auberlen, who will be racing another BMW M3 in ALMS competition this weekend.
"I'm excited to have Boris back again this weekend," said Bell, who will target his sixth pole position of the season. "We had a great run going at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with everything going exactly to plan, but unfortunately we just didn't make it to the finish. Hopefully we'll be able to make up for that this weekend at Barber."
Above his ambition for another pole position will be Bell's drive to move up in the championship standings. With four top fives in seven starts this season, he is sixth in the point standings with 167 points, 37 behind the championship leader. "I know that there is a pretty large gap between us and the championship leader, but I'm just going to focus on getting everything we can out of each weekend, and see where we end up," said Bell, who has led 72 laps this season, including at least two laps in each of the last six races. "We had a few races where events out of our control really set us back, but we can't worry about that. We just have to keep looking ahead. Hopefully Barber will play well to the Turner Motorsport BMW's great balance and strong braking, and we can get momentum going for the second half of the season."
Practice begins Thursday morning with a track practice day, followed by practice Friday afternoon and qualifying Saturday morning. The two-and-a-half hour race is scheduled to start at 8:20 a.m. CST Sunday.