Big Day For Michael Marsal in Texas

michael_marsal_racing_1Austin, Texas (19 September 2014) – In a race that featured tricky mixed conditions, Michael Marsal and Turner Motorsport teammate Tom Kimber-Smith battled the elements and emerged triumphant with a podium finish at Circuit of the Americas on Friday. The duo combined for a hard-fought second place finish in the No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW M3.

After qualifying 16th, Marsal knew his duty from the drop of the green flag was to move his way forward and he immediately set to work, making his way up the packed 52-car combined class field. When the first and only caution of the race flew at the tail end of the very first lap, Marsal had already rocketed up five positions.

When the field returned to green flag racing, Marsal again put his head down and drove the Turner BMW with everything he had, improving his way into the top-five just before the one-hour mark. Despite battling the treacherous track conditions with portions of the circuit dry while other portions were wet, a near flawless drive saw him methodically pick off the few remaining cars in front of him and make it all the way up to second place before pitting to hand the car over to Kimber-Smith.

A quick pit stop by the Turner crew put Kimber-Smith back out in seventh position with just over an hour and 20 minutes left to race. In the final hour, Kimber-Smith delivered an excellent stint on slick tires, leading laps around the circuit until the waning minutes of the race when he ultimately ceded the lead to the No. 46 car who was one of the very few who opted to run on rain tires. The effort brought home the team’s second podium of the season.

The result was an especially sweet one for Marsal as he fondly noted his roots in Texas.

“That was absolutely one of the most challenging races I have ever driven, but it was so much fun!” said a thrilled Marsal from the podium. “I really do like racing in the wet, but the changing conditions really made it challenging as far as car control and everything. You would come up through the back section and you wouldn’t know whether it was going to be raining or not. I would like to thank Kevin Holmes who is our #1 crew chief – he isn’t here today because he actually broke his neck in a motorcycle accident so he is going to be laid up for a while, and a big thanks to the rest of the crew for stepping up as he led from afar. Also Texas is my birth state and I owe a lot to it and the Gladney Foundation which is located down in Ft. Worth. So this place is near and dear to my heart so to be able to be on the podium in this state is really exciting for me.”

Marsal will look to continue the positive momentum in the season ending race at Road Atlanta in just two weeks’ time on October 3. Be sure to tune in for the Circuit of the Americas broadcast on Sunday, September 28 at 12:00 PM (ET) on FOX Sports 1.