INDIANAPOLIS (27 July 2012)- As he prepares to debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, Michael Marsal has already run one race this week. With his Thursday flight from New York to Indianapolis being cancelled, Marsal had to scramble and find alternate travel arrangements in order to make it to the Brickyard on time for today’s racing activities.
But with that behind him, Marsal was at the track bright and early, ready to go on race day. The Turner Motorsport driver wasted no time during the 15-minute qualifying session and put his No. 97 BMW M3 in the 12th position for this afternoon’s Brickyard Sports Car Challenge. The session was just his second time to post laps at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, having only taken his first laps at the track in the one-hour practice session that immediately preceded qualifying.
Marsal quickly became comfortable with his car during practice, sharing the controls with co-driver Boris Said as the duo clocked 26 laps. Feeling much more confident for qualifying, he spent the entire session on track. “We had a great car in practice and qualifying,” said Marsal. “It is handling really well and is turning consistent laps. I think we have a really good car for the race.”
The 24-year-old New Yorker stepped foot into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time today. For him, racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the opportunity of a lifetime, as he grew up watching the Indianapolis 500 on television.
“This place is absolutely awesome. I think about the other people who have been behind the wheel of a car here and it is an honor to race in the same place that my racing heroes have driven,” said the recent college graduate. “The course is huge and you do not get a sense of how tight the turns are until you drive them yourself. It’s going to be fun to race here.”
As a first timer at the Brickyard, Marsal is also looking to continue his streak of top-10 finishes throughout his summer of speed. He finished 10th at the Continental Tire 150 race at Watkins Glen at the end of June. He then switched to the American Le Mans Series, where he finished third in their LMP1 Mazda Coupe at Lime Rock Park. Marsal and co-driver Boris Said will drive the No. 97 BMW M3 in the Brickyard Sports Car Challenge today at 1:00 PM. The two-hour, thirty minute event can be viewed on SPEED August 5 at 12:00 PM.