Townsend Bell to Co-Pilot Lotus in American Le Mans Series
Looks forward to competing at his home track – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
From the 14-year-old who snuck into a Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) volunteer barbecue to the well-respected race car driver he is today, Townsend Bell, will be a welcome sight as he returns to his home track at the American Le Mans Monterey, presented by Patrón May 11-12, 2012.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was the birthplace of Bell’s inspiration to become a driver. In 1996 he attended a three-day Skip Barber Racing School class and said from the moment he was buckled in, a light switch went on, and he knew what he wanted to do with his life – race – and he hadn’t event started up the engine. Five years later Bell was racing IndyCar.
“I am hugely impatient,” says Bell. “Once I knew what I wanted, I simply went after it.”
Born in San Francisco and a native of San Luis Obispo, Bell describes Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca as “beautiful, with smooth curbing and fantastic elevation changes” and he is thrilled to return as part of American Le Mans Series.
“I missed pure road racing,” says Bell. “I competed in the Petit Le Mans two years ago and truly enjoyed the excitement, variety of cars, the new technology the Series has to offer. It was really fun racing.”
Alex Job Racing, who has one of the best records in sports car racing, has Bell and co-pilot Bill Sweedler driving the first factory-backed Lotus to participate in the American Le Mans Series.
“The brief time I have spent in the Lotus thus far has blown me away,” says Bell. “The car is beautiful, balanced and lightweight.”
Bell sees 2012 as a heavy development year with a full ALMS schedule in 2013. His year will also be full of other motorsports commitments including broadcasting with NBC and SPEED, the continuance of his successful sponsorship coaching business, participation in the Indy 500 (May 27) and the premier of his television show “Shut Up and Drive” with Justin Bell (no relation) on SPEED.
The American Le Mans Monterey, presented by Patron is a six-hour endurance race that features multiple classes of high-tech sports cars competing together with constant passing and on-track battles throughout. The race takes competitors from daylight, to dusk and into the darkness, pushing drivers’ and crews’ mental and physical abilities.
For more information on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca or to purchase tickets for the American Le Mans Monterey, presented by Patrón, please log on to www.MazdaRaceway.com or call 800-327-7322.