Turner Motorsport tabs Salama to Team With Bell for Grand Prix du Trois Rivieres Trois Rivieres, Que- (12 Aug 2009) -- Even though it is only his second season of racing in the pro ranks of the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge, Matt Bell has...
Turner Motorsport tabs Salama to Team With Bell for Grand Prix du Trois Rivieres
Trois Rivieres, Que- (12 Aug 2009) -- Even though it is only his second season of racing in the pro ranks of the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge, Matt Bell has checked a lot of new items off his racing to-do list this season.
From scoring a streak of record-setting poles to breaking through to a race victory at Daytona to making his first run as a race-closer in GS competition with co-driver Boris Said, it's been a season full of new accomplishments for the young Californian. And as the series heads north of the border for the Grand Prix du Trois Rivieres and round 9 of the 2009 season, Bell will knock another item off his list as he returns to the concrete canyons of the 1.521-mile temporary street circuit and is joined by another new co-driver for the weekend in Don Salama.
Salama, who has been a championship-gathering hot shoe with Turner Motorsport for several seasons, will qualify the Turner Motorsport No. 96 H&R Springs/StopTech Brakes BMW M3 on Saturday before taking the green flag for Sunday's 90-minute event, and then turning the M3 over to Bell to close out the race.
Since suffering a disappointing 15th-place result due to mechanical failure in the home race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May, Bell has shown metronomic consistency no matter what driver he has shared the car with. Bell has scored two podiums amid four consecutive top-five finishes as he looks to make up as much ground as possible in the championship standings.
"I can't wait to get up to Trois Riviers and get going," said Bell. "It feels like it's been forever since we ran at Barber Park, so I am really looking forward to getting back into the Turner car this weekend. Don (Salama) is one of Turner's secret weapons because he's a strong driver and also the perfect race strategist, so I'm looking forward to racing with him. I was encouraged with how we were able to close out the race at Barber, and now I'm just going to take that extra confidence into this weekend."
BMW currently leads the KONI Challenge manufacturers standings as well, something that Bell is also mindful of ahead of Sunday's 90 minute sprint race.
"Even though we aren't where we want to be in the driver championship standings, there is still a lot of racing left to go this year and a lot to be racing for," said Bell. "Turner Motorsport has a strong record at Trois Riviers and I'd love to add to that this weekend. Racing with the walls right next to you is something that takes just a couple of laps to get used to, and then you put it out of your mind and it just becomes second nature. The fans up there are absolutely crazy for their racing and that gets everyone very excited about the race. I just want to get up there and get going!"