BELL ACCELERATES INTO SECOND PLACE IN CHAMPIONSHIP Christchurch driver Eddie Bell continued his fantastic season when he finished second overall at Round 4 of the BNT V8s Championship at Timaru International Raceway last weekend. The result...
BELL ACCELERATES INTO SECOND PLACE IN CHAMPIONSHIP
Christchurch driver Eddie Bell continued his fantastic season when he finished second overall at Round 4 of the BNT V8s Championship at Timaru International Raceway last weekend.
The result has brought Bell, the early championship leader, back to second in the point standings with just two rounds remaining.
As usual Bell was right on the pace throughout the weekend. He was second fastest in the wet test session on Saturday morning, just .008 of a second behind Papatoetoe driver Clark Proctor. Conditions were dry for the second test session later on Saturday but it made little difference to Bell who recorded the 4th fastest time. Eddie then took the Independent Fisheries/Hydraulink Falcon to the 5th fastest time in the first segment of qualifying late on Saturday afternoon but then as he aimed for the top ten shootout to establish grid positions for the first race the next day Bell suffered a slipping clutch, leaving him languishing in 14th place.
After setting top times throughout every other session the clutch problem should have been a major setback for Bell and his team.
Sunday's first race featured plenty of drama. The arrival of rain made tyre choice difficult and most of the field got underway on slick tyres in the slippery conditions. However there was carnage at the end of the opening lap and the race was stopped. Bell made a great beginning from the restart, initially settling into 7th place, making light of the conditions as he charged through to third place by the end of the race. Bell was right behind second placed Tim Edgell at the end of the race, missing the runner-up spot by .065 of a second while he also recorded the fastest lap of the race.
That great result gave Bell third place on the grid for the second race, a contest that took place on a dry track. Bell settled into fourth early on behind Dale Williams who he passed at the start of lap 6 with a great passing move after a superb battle. Eddie held position until the end giving him a superb start to the round with two third placings.
The rain returned for the third and final race, a reverse grid 22 lap event. Eddie was 20th on the grid but crossed the line at the end of the first lap in thirteenth place. A safety car period followed and after racing resumed Eddie produced another great drive to bring the car home in 7th place.
Bell was thrilled with the fantastic result. "I've got a great team, a good engineer and it has been so frustrating at the last two rounds that the reverse grid races have cost us a couple of spots in the championship. When the clutch problem struck in qualifying it looked like the bad luck was continuing but on race day our luck was back. It's good for the team, the guys work so hard. We've never lost our pace but it is good for all of our team to have the trophy and the champagne. It's a good reward for the boys. The car was a rocket in the wet, in the first race we were half a second faster than anyone else."
Many called Eddie's win at the first round of the series a surprise. Now with just two rounds remaining Bell is a fixture near the top of the championship points.
The championship now moves back to the North Island, Round 5 taking place at Manfeild in Feilding over the weekend of 13/14 February.
Bell's campaign is supported by Independent Fisheries, Hydraulink, Valvoline, Mondiale, Rilees Signs, Lamb & Hayward, Hawkins Refrigeration, Avon City Ford, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Arbi Monograms, PSP and Dinsdale Race Engineering.
-source: eddie bell