BELL BROTHERS HAVING A BLAST COMPETING AGAINST EACH OTHER IN CONTINENTAL TIRE SPORTS CAR CHALLENGE
Sports car racing frequently is a family affair.
Fathers mentor sons and in some cases wind up competing against them.
Brothers grow up competing with each other in many sorts of ways and, in the case of Matt and Tim Bell, take their sibling rivalry to the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series GS class.
Matt Bell, who’ll celebrates his 27th birthday on Aug. 31, drives the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro for Stevenson Motorsports. Tim Bell, 23, is in the seat of the No. 6 Mitchum Motorsports Camaro.
The elder Bell is the series veteran, finishing third in GS points in 2009. He and partner John Edwards won twice last year but continue to chase the top spot on the podium with two races remaining in 2012.
This is Tim Bell’s first season in GS. He finished 10th in ST a year ago, capping the season with a second-place finish at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with B.J. Zacharias.
So far, the rivalry – if you could call it that – has been lopsided in favor of the veterans. The Bell/Edwards combination has finished highest in six of the eight races.
But Tim Bell and co-driver Gunter Schaldach prevailed at Indianapolis with a fourth-place finish – Mitchum’s best performance of the year. The team has fashioned three consecutive top-10 finishes and looks forward to reaching the podium at either Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca or Lime Rock Park.
Edwards, as a not completely unbiased observer of the brother vs. brother act, doesn’t worry about anything getting out of hand.
“Matt’s a very professional driver and he doesn’t let family matters interfere with getting the job done,” he said, adding, “I couldn’t imagine having my sibling in a race with me.”
Tim Bell likes competing with his older brother – more so than with other drivers.
“It’s been a blast racing against someone you know well,” he said. “You can race hard and know he won’t take you out. I don’t need to worry about what he’s going to do if he’s in front of me or behind. It’s nice to have a close buddy with you.”
Both brothers are eying possible moves to NASCAR. Matt Bell competed in a pair of NASCAR Nationwide Series road races earlier this summer finishing 34th at Road America and 36th at Watkins Glen International.
Tim Bell left his Los Altos, California home for North Carolina. He competed in two K&N Pro Series East and West events this year finishing sixth at The Bullring in Las Vegas. So there’s a possibility both will end up together again in the future – just in a different type of race car.