Lime Rock: Justin Bell race report

Lime rock 'em sock 'em; Bell mixes tt up; maintains Trans-Am Championship points position. Lakeville, CT - In spite of having no time in the car at Lime Rock before qualifying, Justin Bell scrapped for a seventh place finish in the ...

Lime rock 'em sock 'em; Bell mixes tt up; maintains Trans-Am Championship points position.

Lakeville, CT - In spite of having no time in the car at Lime Rock before qualifying, Justin Bell scrapped for a seventh place finish in the #40 XtremeLens/Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette during Round Three of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup. Bell, Gentilozzi and Miller engaged in a physical battle which resulted in multiple instances of heavy contact and position changes in turn one, known as Big Bend. The race at Lime Rock Park, Monday, May 27, was the first time that Justin raced the track since 1989 when he competed in the Barber-Saab series. Bell finished 7th.

"It was a fun last ten laps running with Paul and Johnny," stated Bell. "We put on a good show. Unfortunately, it was for 5th, 6th and 7th, and not 1st, 2nd and 3rd."

Pit stop strategy played an important factor in the race. All but two cars refueled under green and one driver did not stop for any fuel. Derhaag Motorsports was in top form as usual, executing a flawless pit stop. However, even with a perfect stop, traffic was the real spoiler, according to Justin.

"We had a very fast pit stop, which is fantastic. But it was easy to get held up on the track and both Johnny and I encountered that with the #12 and #28 cars."

Bell started 7th in Saturday's qualifying session. It was JB's first time out on the track in the #40 car. He was delayed in Canada while his travel visa status was resolved. Kenny Wilden, winner of the 2000 Laguna Seca Trans-Am race, filled in for the absent Justin to help prepare the car. Justin spent the first part of the session re-acquainting himself with the track.

"I hardly remember who I dated in 1989, much less the race track," mused Bell. "It's unfortunate that we didn't have any time on the car for me to sort it out. Kenny did an outstanding job and we all appreciate his contribution to the team. We are getting some testing in this next month and we will be ready for Mid-Ohio where I had a very strong showing last year."

Justin Bell is the Trans-Am Series' 2001 AmeriSuites Rookie-of-the-Year. Bell won the final two races of the 2001 season in the Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette. A class-winner at Le Mans and FIA GT2 Champion, Justin is the managing partner of the Justin Bell GT Motorsports Experience, a Chevrolet Driving school located in Palm Beach County, FL.

-gzm/jb-

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Series Trans-Am
Drivers Justin Bell