Marsal Ready for Double Endurance Challenge

“Hardest Stint Ever” in Conti race ahead of Saturday’s 12 Hour enduro
Double duty marathon: Marsal slated to drive nearly 3 hours on Saturday, is entered in half-marathon on Sunday

Teammate Kimber-Smith secures front-row start for Sebring 12

Dagys__2014_255497Sebring, Fla. (14 March 2014) -Michael Marsal opened the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season with a third place finish at Daytona, but his Florida fortunates were not as favorable on Friday as he and fellow Turner Motorsport pilot Tom Kimber-Smith finished the Sebring 200 in thirteenth place with the No. 97 BMW M3 at Sebring International Raceway.

After changing to new Continental Tires and relinquishing his qualifying effort from Thursday, Marsal started the race from the back of the GS class pack in the 60-car combined class field. The move worked early, as Marsal moved up to run in the top 15. But a pair of issues kept him from making any more progress as the race confounded expectations with an opening hour plus of green flag running.

“We had something wrong with the left rear shock, so it was just a handful,” said Marsal. “I don’t think I’ve ever had to work so hard through a stint. I was hoping to be able to take advantage of the Turner strategy and that worked early on. But we also had something going on with the gearbox and once these things started cropping up, it was harder to make up ground. I just focused on getting it home and back to Tom (Kimber-Smith) to get home to the finish. This hurts points-wise, but we know there will be some chances to make this up starting at Laguna.”

Marsal will have another shot at a podium this weekend as he is set to make his Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring 12 Hour debut as he looks to make an encore appearance on the IMSA TUDOR SportsCar Championship podium on Saturday. The New York City resident will re-join the same 8Star Motorsports squad that he raced to a second place finish in the Rolex 24 with.  The LMPC class rules will see Marsal expected to carry nearly three hours of driving to make it to the finish.

The long-distance challenge won’t be his only of the weekend, as Marsal is slated to run in a half-marathon on Sunday.
“I’m excited about it, we are heading home after the race and Will (Turner) will be running with me. I’m looking forward to it after the training that I’ve done,” said Marsal. “It is also good for me in the car—that stint was a lot of work today, but I really feel ok and am ready to go again tomorrow. It is going to be a tough race but I think we should be strong again tomorrow.”

The Sebring 12 Hour will air on FOX Sports 1 starting at 10:00 AM, with the entire race being streamed live on