Despite Challenges, Tim Bell Ready to go at Barber Motorsports Park

Despite Challenges, Tim Bell Ready to go at Barber Motorsports Park

Matt Cleary
Sunday Group Management

(8 April 2011) – While professional auto racing takes courage, precision, and ambition, it also requires some less obvious traits, including patience.

As Tim Bell continues to learn and grow in his rookie year of GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition, the young Californian has impressed with his calm and focused demeanor in the opening rounds of the 2011 season. Despite a variety of unfortunate circumstances beyond his control, Bell has showed great patience through the opening days of the Barber 200 event weekend.

Looking to get up to speed by taking as many laps of possible during his first-ever visit to the 2.3-mile facility outside of Birmingham, Bell has been thwarted at nearly every turn with that ambition. First, an issue with the transmission prevented Bell from getting many practice laps in on Thursday.

In Friday’s final practice session, the fates once again intervened. Despite tons of hard work by the Doran Racing crew to have the BMW 128 ready to go, a competitor made contact with a wall so severely that the session was scrapped to make repairs, leaving Bell without any additional practice time. Nevertheless, Bell did not let the misfortunes of the weekend affect him and he set his sights on a solid qualifying run.

That focus and good attitude saw Bell nab a spot on the 10th row for Saturday’s Barber 200 as he and co-driver BJ Zacharias will look to move the No. 14 BMW 128i forward at the drop of the green flag.

“These past few days have been kind of a roller coaster,” Bell offered about the weekend’s events. “We had an issue with the diff, but the team sorted it out. Then, we had the problem with the gearbox, and we had to call it quits yesterday. This morning, it was like Christmas morning with the team having built a new transmission! They threw us out there for practice but unfortunately when the Camaro crashed, we didn’t get to test it out. It did fine in qualifying until I hit a burm and spun at one of the high speed esses. It was disappointing because that lap time was fast enough for a P2 position but after the flat spots on the tires, I just couldn’t go any faster.”

As the competitive Continental Tire field takes the green, Bell and Zacharias will look to stay out of trouble throughout the twists and turns of the natural terrain road course.

“I expect a lot of action in turn 2,” said Bell. “It’s a pretty wide corner and I think a lot of people think they can fit in there– but you can’t really carry a lot of speed so they’ll probably all wash out into each other. We’ll just try to stay clean and work our way up.”

Bell will have plenty of time to make up ground in the 30-car Street Tuner class field throughout the 2.5 hour race. The green flag will wave at 11:30 AM on Saturday, April 9. Coverage of the event will air April 16 at 2:00 PM (ET) on SPEED.

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.

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