Photo: Tony DiZinno

Bell Racing USA makes two motorsports staff enhancements

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One of the more interesting earlier stories this season in the Verizon IndyCar Series was that Juan Pablo Montoya switched helmets to Bell starting at Barber Motorsports Park.

The Bell company itself has a bit of news to share with Chris Wheeler and Jeff Troyer being named to new managerial roles.

Bell’s release is below:

Bell Racing USA has hired two highly experienced new employees to serve as the director of motorsports and custom service manager.

Chris Wheeler has been named the new director of motorsports for Bell Racing USA. In his new role, Wheeler will work closely with Bell’s trackside support programs, manage sponsorship and contingency programs for both professional and amateur series, assist with research and development and oversee Bell’s social media programs. Wheeler will be joining the trackside support team and traveling across the country to provide onsite service to Bell athletes.

Wheeler, who will be based in Indianapolis, Ind., has over a decade of motorsports experience. He has worked as a spotter and driver coach in the Verizon Indycar Series and Global Rallycross. Wheeler has also worked as a team manager, a brand manager and a mechanic in the world of national-level karting.

“I’m excited to join the Bell Racing USA team,” Wheeler said. “I am really looking forward to working with our athletes in all forms of North American motorsports. We have some big projects in the works, and I’m confident that we will continue to be leaders in safety and customer service.”

Joining Wheeler at Bell Racing USA is the company’s new custom service manager, Jeff Troyer. Troyer brings almost two decades of racing experience to Bell Racing USA’s headquarters in Champaign, Ill. Troyer has vast experience in the motorsports safety industry, and a key part of his new position will be oversight of the custom building of helmets for many of the top professional drivers in the world.

“We’re very excited to have Chris and Jeff join the Bell family,” said Bell Helmets CEO Kyle Kietzmann. “They bring with them a wealth of experience and many connections in professional and amateur motorsports, and I’m confident that they will help keep Bell Helmets the leader in motorsports safety.”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”