Friday, August 12, 2011

Canada's Kyle Marcelli Wins in ALMS Prototype Challenge Class

This past Saturday, the American Le Mans Series run a wickedly wet race at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. As rain soaked the 2.258-mile road course, the racing-prepared sports cars skated through the late stages of a 2 hour, 45 minute event practically on the edge of control. Claiming some of the better, more experienced road race drivers in the American Le Mans Series field, there was one young Canadian competitor who weathered the horrific driving conditions to claim glory winning his first American Le Mans Series sanctioned event.

Partnered with experienced American road racer Tomy Drissi, the Intersport Racing #89 car Mid-Ohio event started under inclement circumstances prior to the rain drenching competitors. Competing in the Oreca-Chevrolet only Le Mans Prototype Challenge category, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge saw Marcelli and Drissi playing catch up for nearly two hours of
the race’s timed distance. Early in the American Le Mans event, Drissi made contact with another race vehicle while running in 4th place. The Intersport Racing team collected a 60-second penalty from the American Le Mans Series officials for avoidable contact (one of many drivers to be assessed a reprimand in what quickly turned into a rough sports car sprint race).

When the race's first caution flew after 45 minutes into the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge, the #89 team initiated a driver change as Kyle Marcelli entered the Intersport Racing car. A lap down to the leading Prototype Challenge car, a combination of team strategy and fastest laps from the driving talent placed the #89 Intersport Racing vehicle into class winning contention.

Grabbing the lead into the final hour in the LMPC category, a last pit stop allowed the Intersport Racing’s sister #37 car. In the final 30 minutes, Kyle Marcelli would have to race around the #37 car being skillfully handled by Jon Field. An exciting dice between the two team machines resulted with Marcelli taking the advantage in turn one. A 21-year old racer hailing from the Ontario city of Barrie, emerging motorsport talent Kyle Marcelli put his inclinations on Canadian roads to use keeping his #89 Intersport Racing Prototype Challenge adhered to the slippery race track. Able to persevere the limited traction, Marcelli drove to victory and 3rd overall in the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge.

This Mid-Ohio victory was an important claim to redemption after Kyle Marcelli was spoiled out of a top Prototype Challenge class finish at the previous Grand Prix of Mosport. The only Canadian event on the 2011 American Le Mans Series schedule, Marcelli had cut his teeth on the historic 2.54-mile race track and wanted a home field victory. Posting the fastest time in class for the Mosport event, Marcelli and his #89 Intersport Racing team were forced to retire due to mechanical problems.

Marcelli's first class victory in the American Le Mans Series, this top podium finish is the sophomore driver's second major triumph in 2011. In July, Marcelli was part of the winning driving team for the 6-hour race at the Italian Imola circuit. Behind the wheel of the #99 JMB Racing/Merchant Services Limited prototype race car with co-drivers Chapman Ducote and Nicolas Marroc, this race win for Kyle Marcelli came in his European debut in sports car competition.

Able to contend for class victories in only his second year of sports car racing, Kyle Marcelli currently stands 5th in the overall American Le Mans Series driver points for the LMPC class along with teammate Tomy Drissi.


No comments:

Post a Comment