Michael Marsal Targets Return to Rolex Podium with Turner


Daytona Beach, Fla. (20 January 2015) – After delivering podium performances in both the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and TUDOR United SportsCar Championships last year, 2015 will see Michael Marsal focus exclusively on the TUDOR Championship as he has been confirmed for a full season campaign in the GTD-class No. 97 Alvarez & Marsal BMW Z4 for Turner Motorsport.

That effort will kick off this weekend as Daytona International Speedway plays host to the Rolex 24 At Daytona (FOX, 2:00 PM ET Saturday).

Marsal’s 2015 full season plans have him set to share the driving duties with Marcus Palttala of Finland, who earned the BMW Trophy driving the Turner entry in 2014 as the team scored the championship.

The Rolex 24 line up will feature even more familiar faces, as Marsal’s 2012 Turner Motorsport co-driver Boris Said will give the ‘Said Heads’ something to root for as the affable racer returns home to race for Will Turner’s eponymous squad. Rounding out the Rolex 24 line up will be Andy Priaulx, a BMW pilot who knows the Z4 inside and out.

“It’s great to be working with guys that I’ve known for a while and raced with, that will only help us this weekend,” said Marsal, of returning to the Turner Motorsport squad. “We are going into the race knowing that we might not be the favorites to win, but at the same time, this is a very good team and we’ve seen that be more important than outright speed. I don’t think anyone does race day strategy better than the Turner brain trust. And after having raced this car now for a full season, the guys really know this car. So if we do run into a small issue, hopefully it’s something they can turn around quickly.”

Last season, Marsal continued to grow his experience in the prototype ranks, racing to excellent effect. His first-ever IMSA LMPC start saw him behind the wheel for over eight hours as part of a three-man driver line up that resulted in an outstanding runner-up finish in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Marsal went on to back that up with another stand-out performance at Sebring, where a podium run came undone late in the day when his co-driver encountered issues. The setback didn’t dampen Marsal’s enthusiasm for competition, as he was able to set a personal best time in a Half-Marathon in New York City the very next day.

Marsal has been building toward this opportunity for several seasons. His first Rolex 24 outing came in 2011 at Daytona. The race gave Marsal the first-hand experience of how the event plays out, knowledge that he put to use again in 2012 as he joined Turner in the BMW M3. Marsal continued to pick up his frequency of racing in GT with Turner, thanks to performances like the one he delivered at Laguna Seca in 2013 as he scored his first-ever GT-class podium.

He will take to the high banks starting on Thursday when the IMSA season opens the first practice session of the year, with the race set for a 2:10 PM ET green flag on Saturday.