Greg Bell and Leading Edge Motorsports Guiding a New Generation of Karters
The sport of karting has certainly evolved over time, and the look and feel of the sport has changed consistently during its 55-year history. For the last 15 years, one of the constants when it comes to developing young talent has been Greg Bell and his Leading Edge Motorsports outfit. Based in Northern California, Bell has helped to guide some of the best racers in the sport. Having worked with a number of chassis brands over his career, Bell’s become one of the most knowledgeable figures in the sport and is currently the Northern California representative for the Intrepid chassis line.
A number of championship drivers from the past, and some who continue to compete today, have raced under the guidance of Bell and the LEM banner. This list includes pilots such as Bobby Wilson, Trevor McAlister, Jordy Vorrath, Ron White, Tad Funakoshi and Brett Buckwalter, to name but a few. With the accomplishments of his many drivers, Leading Edge Motorsports earned the eKartingNews.com Team of the Year honor in 2001 and won again in 2006 alongside Champion Racing. That same year, Bell was awarded Mechanic of the Year after numerous nominations in the past, working with ICC driver Jordy Vorrath during that season.
“I’ve worked with a number of talented drivers in the past and today as well,” stated Bell. “Many of them came with a lot of natural talent, so my duty was to help mould them into true championship form. Communication is the key component to success, as I need to know what they feel out on the racetrack in contrast to what I see from the sidelines in order to make the right changes to be fast. Hitting the right combination for what a specific driver wants and how the chassis works is an ever-changing goal.”
Greg Bell and his Leading Edge Motorsports operation is among the leaders in the karting industry
(Photo: Sean Buur - Go Racing Magazine)
Bell began as one of the top Trackmagic dealers in North America during the height of the American-manufactured chassis. Since then, Bell has taken on other brands, and he is now focused on the Intrepid chassis. For the past five years, LEM has been one of the top dealers for the brand in North America. Manufactured in Italy, the line has gained many championships and victories in its very short history. Much of that success has come in the United States, with Bell helping guide a number of the drivers along the way.
Looking forward to the 2011 season, the Leading Edge Motorsports operation will focus its trackside service program around the ProKart Challenge North program and the SKUSA Pro Tour. The outfit is also expected to make the journey to the popular Rock Island Grand Prix on the Labor Day weekend and, of course, the prestigious SKUSA SuperNationals XV in Las Vegas come November. Bell will also be working more one-on-one with drivers, both with the LEM trackside program and with drivers across the country, regardless their chassis brand.
“I’m looking at a new generation of drivers coming into karting,” continued Bell. “It’s great to work with drivers at a younger age, and to help them develop both on and off the track. I also enjoy working with those drivers looking to get their speed fix on the weekends to escape their 40-hour workweek. Both are a challenge and I welcome it, as it keeps me on top of my game.”
The Leading Edge Motorsports squad traveled to the first stop of the SKUSA ProKart Challenge North program at the Kinsmen Kart Club in Dixon at the end of February. Of the 10 drivers competing in five categories under the LEM banner, three stood on the podium - including the team’s first victory of 2011. S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto driver Jared Woolf took the feature win in his class, bouncing back from a DNF in the final heat race. TaG Senior rookie Kathryn Cornell drove to an impressive third place finish in her first start after building a strong resume as a Junior driver. Randy Froom led the way for the TaG Master LEM contingent with a third place performance as well. A good crop of TaG Junior and TaG Cadet drivers are on the roster this season and are expected to grow quickly under the tutelage of Bell as the year moves on.
“Dixon was a great debut to the 2011 season,” Bell commented on the PKC North event. “The track is a challenging circuit, both for the drivers and the mechanics. We were able to leave with some solid results, but we also learned a lot about what we need to work on as the next event comes. We’ll be ready. We still have the ability to work with more success-minded drivers, and I’d love to add more racers to our program.”