One of the latest additions to the NCM Motorsports Park Board is Art Bell. Art is originally from Vermont, but after graduating from Johns Hopkins University, he settled in Maryland. A former Marine, he would go on from there to form his own CPA firm that would eventually employ 140 people, with offices in Maryland, New York City, the Cayman Islands and Ireland.
He credits his wife for getting him into Corvettes. “She told me that I was at an age for either having a mistress or a sports car. She decided for me that I’d get a sports car and gave me my first Corvette. I’ve had at least one Corvette continuously since then.”
His Corvette eventually led him to attend the very first NCM High-Performance Driving Event back in 2005 and he’s been hooked on that kind of driving ever since. “I got the bug and go to three or four of these a year now.”
When asked about what he brings to the board, it is evident that he has a desire to serve. “I have a financial background, a passion for motorsports and a passion for Corvette. I believe in doing things right and doing them at a high level of quality, which aligns with goals of everyone involved in making sure this is always a premier, first class facility. I also come at this from the point of view of an amateur driver. There are professional drivers on the board who I know quite well, and they bring another perspective, while I represent the people who may be very experienced, but who don’t make a living as drivers. As a board member, I am looking forward to being a team player and to share from my experiences in any way that I can.”
Also new to the NCM Motorsports Park Board of Directors is John Heinricy. John is legendary in the Corvette community and brings with him a wealth of experience that none can lay claim to.
At GM his mechanical know-how, engineering skill and natural ability as a race car driver, propelled him up the ranks. He served as the development engineer at the Milford Proving Grounds, development manager for the Corvette Platform, assistant Chief Engineer on Corvette, Chief Engineer for the Camaro and Firebird, and ultimately Director of High Performance Vehicle Operations for the GM Performance Division until his retirement in 2008. (Those were just some of his professional highlights.)
As a driver, he has competed in over 240 professional races, including thirty-five 24-Hour races, earning 4 Professional Driver Championships, 13 SCCA National Championships, and 3 FIA World Speed Records. Corvette fans will remember that he was one of the drivers in the historic World Speed Endurance Record run, driving a ZR-1 Corvette at an average of 174.9 mph for 24 Hours. An early advocate of the Corvette Racing factory effort, he was one of the test drivers in developing the C5-R Corvette, racing one for Pratt & Miller in Daytona and Sebring.
He continues to race, instruct, test drive and consult with various teams, builders and manufacturers, and now brings his unique skill set and insight to the NCM Motorsport Park as a board member. When asked about serving on the board he is characteristically humble. “I am honored to be asked to serve on the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park Board of Directors. Over the years I’ve taken great pleasure in seeing how the Museum has developed, going back to when the NCM was constructed and its grand opening, to the many events I’ve attended since. For me, the Motorsports Park is such a great addition to the Museum facilities as it really gives people a chance to explore the capabilities of their cars while improving their driving skills. From a personal standpoint, listening to all the owners driving their Corvettes at or near the limit validates the work of so many who have contributed to making the Corvette a top performer. All Corvette Enthusiasts can be as proud of this facility as I am to serve on the board.”