Can Tim Bell Break Out at Barber?

Can Tim Bell Break Out at Barber?

Matt Cleary
Sunday Group Management

Mesco Rookie of the Year standings: Tim Bell, T-P4 (32 points)
Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Championship Standings: Doran Racing/P9
TV: SPEED, April 16- 2:00 PM ET

6 April 2011–As a rookie racer in the GRAND-AM’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, Tim Bell has a clear job description — learn as much as he can while moving up the order. But it is a challenging balance, as he has to temper his natural instinct to charge forward through the pack with the need to conserve the car for his teammate BJ Zacharias to drive to the finish. Endurance racing rewards not just the fast, but also the smart.

So far, with two GRAND-AM races under his racing belts, Bell has held up his end of the bargain, and then some. Driving for one of endurance sports car racing’s most well-known teams, Doran Racing, Bell has impressed in his first two pro race outings. This despite the fact that as a rookie, he’s racing on new tracks each weekend.

Beyond moving up the order while staying mindful of the big picture, another key part of Bell’s job list is to qualify the No. 14 Office Depot BMW 128i. Bell gets good marks on this aspect of the job as well, proving to be a quick study during the 15-minute qualifying sessions and scoring starting spots on the fourth and sixth rows in the opening two rounds.

While this Saturday’s Barber 200 race weekend will mark Bell’s debut run at the Birmingham-area track, it could well be the setting for his best result to date. Looking to combine his constantly-growing experience with the strong handling traits of the No. 14 Office Depot BMW 128i, Bell is hoping that the tight, twisty nature of the 17-turn circuit plays into his hands.

“My confidence is growing, but I know that it’s just my third GRAND-AM race and I’ve still got a lot to learn,” said Bell, who is also interested in pursuing a career in real estate in parallel with his racing activities. “I’m learning more every time I go out and I think that each race weekend I’m feeling more and more comfortable. At Daytona, for example, I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like to do a driver change during the race. It went fine, and now I know a lot more about what to expect in those situations.”

With two race finishes (16th at Daytona, 14th at Homestead) placing Bell and Zacharias ninth in the team standings, Bell is looking to put his rapidly accumulating experience to good use this weekend. “I’m hoping that this will be a good track for us,” said Bell. “I don’t want to get my expectations too high — I’m really focused on doing well in qualifying and having another good strong opening stint. But looking at all the tracks we are running this season, I’m optimistic that Barber will be one of the better ones for us. The BMW has great braking, and even though we might not have the full-on power of some of the turbo cars, hopefully we can make that up with a good handling car. It looks like a very fun track — highly technical. It’s a very busy track for the driver, every lap!”

The weekend schedule combines the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series with the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights, and Star Mazda runners. Bell, along with his brother Matt, look to take a break and indulge their motorcycle passion with a visit to the impressive Barber Motorsports Park museum which houses an amazing collection of motorcycles through the years as part of passionate park owner George Barber’s collection.

Barber Motorsports Park At-Track Schedule – ST Drivers

Thursday, April 7
11:00 AM CTSCC Driver Meeting Toshiba Transporter
1:30 PM – 2:15 PM Practice – Continental Tire Challenge
4:35 PM – 5:20 PM Practice – Continental Tire Challenge

Friday, April 8
8:00 AM – 8:30 AM Practice – Continental Tire Challenge
10:15 AM – 10:30 AM Qualifying – Continental Tire Challenge ST

Saturday, April 9
9:00 AM CTSCC Driver Meeting
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM CTSCC Autograph Session Team Transporters
10:50 AM Pre-Race
11:30 AM START – Continental Tire Challenge Race (2.5 hrs)

Matt Cleary
Sunday Group Management
317.908.2975 (m)

Based in Indianapolis, Sunday Group Management is a leading motorsports management and communications consulting firm.

Sunday Group Management works with clients in a variety of motorsports categories, including NASCAR Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger, Riley Technologies, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series organization Michael Shank Racing, Continental Tire, and several teams and drivers in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition.

For additional information:,,, or

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: