Bell Looking Forward to Camaro Return to VIR Danville, VA (21 April 2010) -There is nothing better than having your homework already done. And while there is still a lot yet to be learned and developed with the No. 6 Sunoco Fuels ...
Bell Looking Forward to Camaro Return to VIR
Danville, VA (21 April 2010) -There is nothing better than having your homework already done.
And while there is still a lot yet to be learned and developed with the No. 6 Sunoco Fuels Riley/Camaro, Matt Bell is looking forward to this weekend's GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Virginia International Speedway because he knows his Stevenson Motorsports team has done some serious homework.
The Bosch Engineering 200 race weekend marks the first return visit to a track for the all-new Camaro Grand Sport (GS) entry after the machine made its GRAND-AM competition debut at the 3.27-mile circuit in rural Virginia last year.
That race saw Bell close out the 2009 season with yet another top five result as he finished fourth, moving him to third in the final championship standings.
Moving to the Stevenson organization for 2010 has seen Bell get the opportunity to do some new things in his career, like making a strong debut appearance in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. But it has also seen his race day results reflect the sometimes developmental nature of racing with an all-new machine. However, the struggle hasn't necessarily been all about the car, as the regulations have seemed to hamper the progress of the new entry.
But heading into the weekend with some modest rules changes and some previous data for the engineers to study ahead of the event has Bell hoping that he can match or improve on the season-best result of fifth that he and co-driver Jeff Bucknum scored at Daytona International Speedway to open the year.
"It's certainly going to be a big help for us to go to a track where we have something to look at from a data point of view before the weekend starts," said Bell. "Of course other cars have years and years of data to review, but compared to how we've had to start at zero for several of the tracks so far this year, it will be a big advantage. I'm hopeful that we can start off with a solid car this weekend and just keep improving."
The opportunity to improve is one that all racers cherish, and with an afternoon to test on Thursday, the VIR weekend could prove to be a boost not just in Saturday's 2.5 hour race, but also for the rest of the year.
"There is so much variety--long straights and super-slow corners--at VIR that hopefully we can pick some lessons up here that we'll be able to use at other tracks as well. We know that there are some weaknesses with the platform that we have to continue to push on, but having more track time is a great way to continue to find new solutions," said Bell, who ran as high as fifth in the last race after starting from seventh on the grid. "It should be another very competitive race but if we can just keep making progress with the car we can be much better placed for a good result on Saturday."