After a burgeoning career in television as an analyst for Indycar and Red Bull Rallycross over the last couple of years, TUDOR United Sports Car Championship driver Townsend Bell began to contemplate how to take his niche of high performance automobile racing and put in front of a lot of people that might not normally tune in for an Indycar or sports car race, but enjoy something a little broader and shorter for their appetite. His love for any sort of athletic sport prompted his decision to start “What’Cha Got?”, a weekly show presented by Continental Tires where Major League Soccer players compete in Lamborghinis to win a one-year lease of the $250,000 car they raced. “What’Cha Got?” will feature six players from MLS, three from the Eastern Conference, three from the Western Conference. The fastest of each conference will move on to a head-to-head final of East vs West where one lucky player will win a one-year lease on an identical Lamborghini. “These guys are competitors,” says Bell. “They take the competition very seriously.”
The show will be broken into episodic profiles on the player that will ask two questions: “What do they have at home?”, and “what do they have on the track?” Players will show what automotive taste they have by what’s in their garage before going to their respective team’s stadium to compete on a cone autocross track for a timed hot lap.
Bell’s racing has been well demonstrated, but what about his own garage? “I drive a BMW X5 diesel and a 991 Porsche Carrera S,” responds Bell. “Which (the Porsche) is more of my wife’s daily driver. I drive race cars for a living so it’s hard for me to get excited about street cars, even though the 911 is a very good platform.”
Bell personally coaches the driver, which although coaching is not new for Bell, presents a unique challenge.
“I have to, in 45 minutes, coach what I would normally teach in a two-day racing class,” explains Bell. “That moment that I give them the keys after I coached them, and they now are getting in a close to 600 horsepower supercar by themselves, with the clock going, with a real prize on the line, there’s that moment where I pause and I go, ‘I have no idea what’s about to happen.’ and that’s what makes it fun to watch. Hopefully viewers will be able to watch and feel that same unpredictability.”
“What’Cha Got?” premieres on ESPN FC on ESPN2 every Sunday starting October 19, and will run until the MLS finale in December.