Between his broadcasting commitments and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship driving in the GT Daytona class, Townsend Bell has another project he’s been working on this year: “What’Cha Got, Presented by Continental.”
Filming commenced for “What’Cha Got” after the Virginia International Raceway TUDOR Championship (August 24) and Auto Club Speedway IndyCar (August 30) races. The show will air as part of ESPN FC across the ESPN family of networks, starting October 19th and running through the MLS Finals.
The program combines two of Continental Tire’s sports properties – racing and Major League Soccer (Continental Tire is an official MLS sponsor) – to see Bell serve as a driving instructor, and host, for 6 MLS players as they swap their daily drivers for a Lamborghini.
Bell took it from there to explain his shift from driver to instructor with these athletes.
“It’s a very fun new feature program that gives professional athletes the chance to compete in a high performance (driving) environment,” Bell told Sportscar365. “There’s six inaugural participants from MLS, three Eastern Conference players and three Western Conference players.
“We profile ‘What’Cha Got’ at home, which is what does the athlete drive every day, and ‘What’Cha Got’ for the track. The track is a coned autocross course in the parking lot of a MLS stadium, where the athletes get to race the Lamborghini against the clock. And the fastest driver in the West faces off against the fastest driver in the East. The overall winner takes home the Lambo!
The six inaugural participants include Giles Barnes (Houston Dynamo), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire) from the Eastern Conference, and Chandler Hoffman (Los Angeles Galaxy), Stephen Keel (FC Dallas) and Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA) from the Western Conference.
Kennedy admitted he wouldn’t be trading his day job for a racing career anytime soon, but was still impressed by Bell’s instruction, the Lamborghini and the handling of the tires themselves.
“To be able to get in a Lamborghini and see him do his thing and make it look so easy, and try to instruct me to become a more efficient driver behind an amazing car was, for me, a once in a lifetime experience,” Kennedy said.
He added, “I’ve been a huge fan of cars my whole life. My first job was detailing cars. To get in a car of that caliber and drive it as hard as I was able to drive it, with instruction from a quality guy and a great racecar driver in Townsend was a fantastic experience.”
Getting to know other athletes away from the track provided Bell a fresh experience.
“It’s really fun to watch professional athletes get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to drive a supercar at its limits plus learn about who they are every day,” he said. “It’s cool to discover their automotive preferences.”
Behind-the-scenes photos appear on Continental Tire’s Facebook and Bell’s Twitter pages.