in Children's Tumor Foundation/R4R Mustang with eBay Motors, eBay Mobile and Quicken Loans
Justin Bell survived a soggy practice session Friday and a brush with the wall in Saturday’s first race in the Children's Tumor Foundation/Racing4Research.org/eBay Motors/eBay Mobile/Quicken Loans No. 50 Tiger Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302S in an eventful first two days of a Pirelli World Challenge doubleheader this weekend at Detroit's Belle Isle Grand Prix Circuit, June 1 - 3.Bell and the Tiger Racing Team have been in full rebuild mode since the last race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca three weeks ago. The California resident was involved in a crash that left the Tiger Racing Mustang requiring nearly a full rebuild."From the firewall forward is a new car," Bell said. "We couldn't really salvage anything upfront, all new engine, gearbox, sub-frame, suspension, everything really. A tremendous amount of effort went into getting us here this weekend. Tiger Racing and Paul Brown Racing is a small team, they were wrenching on it right up until 1 a.m., Friday morning. This team knows Mustangs so well, and the car is so repairable, that we are fine.”Not only did the car need fixing, but Bell was a little light headed after the hit at the exit of Turn 11."Every time I look at the video from the crash, I say, who is that wanker that hit the wall coming out of Turn 11, and it happened to be me. I was a bit twisted the week after. It hit so hard that the seat belt anchors were broken. Sometimes when you crash and hit, and everything flies off it looks dramatic. But when you go straight in and stop, that is when it hurts. Now it is back in my hands to perform."Bell and the rest of the SCCA Pro Racing Pirelli World Challenge competitors had the task of cleaning the track Friday as they were the first cars on the circuit in the morning. Instead of blowing dust off, the competitors were negotiating the island circuit in a torrential downpour."It was awful out there Friday morning,” Bell said. “The weather coming like it did was terrible. All it did for me was to exaggerate my desire not to damage the car. I just wanted to find my way around the track and get acclimated to the circuit."
Saturday started with a qualifying session that saw clock in with the ninth-fastest GTS class time as the substantial rebuild from four weeks ago still has the Tiger Racing Team debugging the eBay Motors/eBay Mobile Mustang."Our little troubled weekend continues," Bell said. "No ABS in practice yesterday. In qualifying I was running with the top three guys, just warming up our tires, suddenly the pit speed limiter kept coming on and I was dead in the water. The Pirelli tires are really good when you get them up to temperature. But mine weren't warmed up and I just pushed too hard for the tires.”Race one later on Saturday was marred by a crash on the main straight at the race start that created a nearly 20-minute caution period. On the restart, Bell was forced to the outside going into the Turn Seven where he touched the wall, knocking the No. 50’s front-end severely out of alignment.
"We were lucky to finish the race," said Bell, who crossed the line in seventh place. "I had a great start, following the first failed start. I was following the Kia. He was having some problems and when I was going into the right hander before the back straight, I didn't want to dive into the inside. So I tucked in behind, and I got unsighted and I touched the wall, knocking the tow out. I thought I was going to have to pit, but it turned out to be somewhat drivable. I am ready for tomorrow. I am little angry and motivated."Noteworthy
- Always willing to turn a negative into a positive, fans can bid on Bell's Mustang crash-damaged parts, signed by the driver, from the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca incident on his eBay Motors celebrity page at eBay.com, search Justin Bell No. 50 eBay Motors, or click a direct link here. "I am really excited we have all of the front-end body parts on my celebrity eBay auction page," Bell said. "There is a gorgeous Mustang hood with eBay Motors across it. We are looking to raise some money for the Children's Tumor Foundation (CTF). We have the CTF kids coming to the race. That is the bigger picture for the weekend."
- In addition to his driving duties, Bell is currently in his second season hosting The World's Fastest Car Show, a unique web, mobile and app-accessible show available only at eBay Motors and on eBay Mobile.About the Children's Tumor Foundation and Racing4Research: Developed by the Children’s Tumor Foundation, the Racing4Research (R4R) program utilizes competitive, professional auto racing as a vehicle to increase awareness of neurofibromatosis and raise funds for research through corporate sponsorship, personal donations, and individual fundraising by NF Heroes: children and adults from around the country who live with neurofibromatosis. NF affects one in every 3,000 children, more than cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Huntington’s disease combined, and can lead to a wide variety of complications, including blindness, bone abnormalities, cancer, deafness, disfigurement, learning disabilities and excruciating and disabling pain. The Racing4Research program offers children and families living with the disorder a uniquely empowering weekend, and has raised over $1.5 million dollars since its inception five years ago.
Donations can be made at www.racing4research.org.