Global Rallycross Season Review: Townsend Bell
After adding Global Rallycross to a resume that includes Indianapolis 500 and sports car racing experience, as well as well-received stints in the broadcast booth and in magazine-format TV shows, the question is: is there anything involving four wheels that Townsend Bell can’t do?
Making an appearance at X Games Munich alone as a one-off, Bell was fortunate enough to compete in two races due to the rainout and rescheduling of the former X Games Barcelona round. He spent the first event getting acclimated and the second making his move to the main event, earning a respectable 16 points along the way.
Bell joined OMSE2 for the race, competing alongside X Games Brazil gold medalist Scott Speed and fourth-place finisher Steve Arpin in year-old Ford Fiestas. After the strong performances of the older equipment in South America, it was clear that Bell would be stepping into a competitive (if not dominant) piece of machinery in Germany.
The first race saw Bell earn the 15th seed, putting him in a heat alongside teammate Arpin, but Toomas Heikkinen and Anton Marklund would send both to the last chance qualifier by earning the two transfer spots. In the LCQ, the three OMSE2 cars would finish second, third, and fourth, within five seconds of one another, but Bell would place last of the three and thus miss the main event.
On Sunday, Bell would again be forced to compete in the last chance qualifier, but things would turn out quite differently. After many of the other competitors crashed out in aborted starts, he would win the LCQ to make it to the final; he would finish sixth, directly behind teammate Arpin and in front of Guiga Spinelli, another driver to make his first main event in Munich.
It was clear in Munich that Bell enjoyed his maiden rallycross experience, one of many cherry-picked events on his selective 2013 racing schedule. He’d be a worthy candidate for a drive in 2014, if his schedule allows.