Matt Bell news 2010-11-02

Matt Bell Adds Global Tuner Grand Prix Podium to Resume at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Monterey, CA (1 November 2010) -When it comes to racing, Matt Bell has regularly made quick work with his first impressions, and that was true once again as he made his Global Tuner Grand Prix debut at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last weekend with a run to second place in the No. 23 BMW 135i for BRracing.

While he has thousands of laps around the famed 2.23-mile circuit on the Monterey Peninsula and calls the track home, the run in the Global Tuner Grand Prix weekend marked Bell’s first outing in the event. Unlike the long-distance, multi-class endurance format that has seen Bell excel in GRAND-AM competition, the Global Tuner Grand Prix put the pressure all on the driver in just one lap, as the clock is the competition.

The format was all-new, but at least for Bell he had a familiar ally as he returned to racing on the BMW platform, having nearly taken the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Championship for Turner Motorsport in 2009 with a record-setting streak of poles.

Driving the high-horsepower, short wheelbase 135i was the challenge that BR Racing tasked Bell with, and he responded quickly as he netted the second-fastest time to score yet another podium finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

“I was hoping we’d be able to pull out a win this weekend, but for it being my first time driving this car and racing in the Global Tuner Grand Prix, I’m pretty happy with how the weekend went,” said Bell, who had originally been hired for his wet-weather skills as inclement weather was anticipated on the weekend. “This was a really cool event, with some very interesting cars competing. I think with some small rules changes and more pro drivers, it could grow into something amazing in the coming years. Any time you are at Laguna Seca, it’s a good thing and I have to thank BR Racing for making this opportunity possible for me. I really enjoyed driving the 135i; hopefully I can get another chance to drive it because it’s a blast.”

As the weekend closed and final echos of the motors bounced off the hills that surround the track, Bell shook off the champagne spray and started to look ahead once again.

“I wasn’t sure when the next time I was going to be in a race car again after Miller, so this weekend was a nice bonus for me, to get the invitation to come up and drive this car,” said Bell. “Hopefully we’ll have some news soon about what’s next, and I’m very much looking forward to 2011 already and getting some testing in before Daytona. And racing here at Laguna Seca only gets me more excited about coming back and doing it again now that GRAND-AM has announced that the track is back on the schedule next season. I can’t wait!”

-source: sgm

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