Matt Bell Ready to Run Up Front Again at Mid-Ohio

Matt Bell Ready to Run Up Front Again at Mid-Ohio

lagunapodiummbell

Lexington, Ohio (14 September 2011) – Following an eight-week break in GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition, Matt Bell returns to race action this weekend as the series stages the season finale at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The California racer has shown his prowess behind the wheel of the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro throughout the first nine rounds of the season, qualifying the car in the the top-10 – including a pole position at his home track of Laguna Seca – in all but one event this year (but he still went on to win that race). Bell is setting his sights on a similar performance this weekend as he closes out the 2011 season.

And there could hardly be a better track for Bell as he looks for his third win of the year, because the 2.258-mile natural terrain circuit in rural Ohio has been one that Bell has shown mastery on for years. Bell broke the GS track record in 2009 on his way to pole position in his first GS start at the track. Last year, Bell backed that up with an encore pole on his way to bringing the Camaro its first-ever laps led in GRAND-AM competition.

In the previous round, staged in sweltering conditions at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Bell and co-driver John Edwards had been hoping to extend the wave of big results after winning both the Road America and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca rounds. But the duo instead faced frustration in the form of a pit lane penalty and significant damage following an on-track incident that set the No. 9 deep in the field.

The team rallied back to a 14th place result but was nevertheless disappointed with the finish as the team had hoped to take its third straight trip to victory lane. The Stevenson Motorsports duo looks to bounce back at Mid-Ohio with another strong outing for the No. 9 Camaro.

While the disappointing result in New Jersey thwarted what was shaping up to be a very strong late-season championship charge, Bell will still aim to score as many points as possible for a strong close to the year, which also featured several strong starts behind the wheel of the top Daytona Prototype machines.

After the opening race at Daytona got the season off to a slow start points wise (28th place finish), Bell has been upwardly mobile in the championship hunt ever since, and enters the EMCO Gears weekend sixth in the driver standings. Looking to match or beat his previous best of 3rd in the championship, the No. 9 Camaro is just nine points out of that spot, and 33 points out of the lead.
With Stevenson Motorsports fifth in the Team Championship and also 33 points out of the top spot, Bell needs to capture maximum points in the final round to move up the order.

“I always look forward to Mid-Ohio,” said Bell. “Last year was a bit of a breakthrough for Stevenson and this Camaro, being on pole and leading our first laps. And now, over a year later, we know this car that much better so hopefully we can be strong again this weekend to finish the year. We took a hit in the championship at New Jersey, but we’ll see what we can do this weekend and see how far up the standings we can go.”

The final event of the season begins with a promoter test day on Thursday, September 15 with official practice and qualifying to follow on Friday. The 2.5-hour EMCO Gears Classic will begin Saturday, September 17 at 11:00 AM (ET) and can be followed online with live timing and scoring at www.grand-am.com.

The event will air September 25 at 12:00 PM (ET) on SPEED.

www.sundaygroupblog.com

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MbR-Previewmidohio2011-PDF.pdf

Matt Cleary
Sunday Group Management
media
http://www.sundaymanagement.com
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: www.sundaymanagement.com, http://sundaygroupblog.com, www.facebook.com/sundaygroup, or twitter.com/Sundaygroup

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