Memorial Day Shootout at Lime Rock Park for Matt Bell

Memorial Day Shootout at Lime Rock Park for Matt Bell

Contact: Matt Cleary

Lakeville, Conn. (26 May 2011) – Following two consecutive top-10 finishes in the previous two rounds of GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition, Matt Bell and Stevenson Motorsports co-driver John Edwards will look to capitalize on this positive trend and make another run to the front in the Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park this weekend.

Saturday’s 2.5-hour race marks Round 5 of the 10-race Continental Tire championship and as Bell returns to the 1.53-mile track in Lakeville, Connecticut, the California racer will roll into the picturesque facility with some fond memories, having scored a podium at the lightning-quick track in 2009 while racing with Turner Motorsport. Not only did Bell earn his second podium in his debut season, but he also led 12 laps on his way to a third place finish.

While Bell fondly remembers the highlights of that first trip to the Lime Rock podium, some fresher memories are not quite as fond and might have him looking for a measure of redemption this weekend.

Last year’s race saw him make yet another impressive qualifying run to start fourth on the grid, only to receive significant damage when another competitor made contact with the No. 9 Camaro in the opening stages of the race. Despite some quick repair work in the pits and consistently quick lap times once he got back on track, there was just not enough time to make up the needed track position and the team settled for a disappointing 19th place result.

“We didn’t have luck on our side last year, but we had a great car and were starting to unlock the potential,” said Bell. “The Stevenson Motorsport guys definitely deserved to be running up front like that but we just had a bit of bad luck take us out. Hopefully we can have a lot better luck on Saturday.”

Having earned the first-ever pole position for the Camaro last year, Bell has maintained his strong qualifying record again this year with grid spots firmly in the top ten in each of the four opening rounds including a front row start at Barber Motorsports Park in the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GS.R. Entering the Lime Rock Park race weekend, Bell has yet more reason for optimism as his fourth place Lime Rock grid spot last year was preceded by yet another front row start in 2009.

The usual Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge format sees the Grand Sport and Street Tuner divisions take to the track at the same time, but Lime Rock’s unique line-up will see the two classes run separately on Saturday. Bell knows his way around the Connecticut circuit and as he looks ahead to this weekend’s event, he sets his sights on grabbing another top spot on the Memorial Day Classic starting grid.

“Lime Rock is such a quick, intense track and it can be a tricky place to pass so hopefully we can start up front and stay there,” said Bell. “We’ve been knocking on the door of a podium and the guys keep working to do whatever we can to make sure we keep a consistent race pace. That’s been the biggest challenge for us-just trying to engineer the car so it doesn’t become such a handful after a few laps. The super-quick laps are a challenge for the engineers, because you can lose a lap very easily if you pit at the wrong time. But the Stevenson guys on the pit box really know what they are doing and seem to come up with the right call, so hopefully we can use that to our advantage on Saturday.”

Bell returns to on-track action on Friday, May 27 for practice and qualifying, with the race slated to begin at 3:30 PM ET on Saturday.

PR inquiries about Matt Bell should be directed to Matt Cleary at Sunday Group Management; 317.908.2975 (mobile) or media

For additional information:


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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