Marcelli Laguna Seca race report

Kyle Marcelli press release

Marcelli Wins Pole Position And Races To Third Place in California

#89 Intersport Racing Oreca FLM09: Kyle Marcelli, Chapman Ducote
#89 Intersport Racing Oreca FLM09: Kyle Marcelli, Chapman Ducote

Photo by: Bob Heathcote

(Monterey, California) September 21st 2011 – It’s been a demanding last month for Canadian Race Driver Kyle Marcelli as he’s found himself in a different time zone for each of the last four-weeks. Co-Driving alongside of Hollywood’s Tomy Drissi, the duo raced to victory in the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix. Shortly thereafter, Marcelli was back in the seat with Miami’s Chapman Ducote as the two crossed the Atlantic to London, England where they looked to back up their Italian win. This time they earned a 3rd place in the European Le Mans Series 6-hours of Silverstone. With less than 48-hours to wash the champagne out of their driving suits, the pair were back in the seat together for what was this past weekends penultimate round, The ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey Presented by Patron.

It was 21-year old Kyle Marcelli who once again drove the #89 Intersport Racing to earn his second pole position in the American Le Mans Series for 2011, beating out Core Autosport’s Gunnar Jeanette for the pole position in qualifying at the famed Laguna Seca.

With beautiful California conditions above, teams and drivers were prepared for the grueling 6-hours of Laguna Seca. “This is one of the most demanding race tracks we go to on the American Le Mans Series schedule. It’s a true race of attrition.” Said Kyle Marcelli. For the Intersport Racing #89 LMPC entry, it was the brother duo of David and Chapman Ducote along with Kyle Marcelli that would share the driving duties.

The initial team race strategy was a simple 2,2,2 meaning each driver would be in the car for a double stint before the next driver would take over the wheel. A team decision was made that David Ducote would start the race. Inheriting a 1st place starting position thanks to teammate Kyle Marcelli, David took the green flag for the start of what was not a 6-hour endurance race but a 6-hour all out sprint race. Just about one hour had passed in the race before David encountered problems with his shoulder, something he’s had issues with before. Falling back in the running order, the team opted to get Marcelli in for an unscheduled stint to make up for some lost ground. Marcelli did just that. Setting what was at the time the fast last of the race, Marcelli pushed hard to get the car back onto the lead lap and eventually leading the race. For Marcelli, what started out one hour “catch-up” stint, soon turned into a monster three hour shift behind the wheel of the #89 Intersport Racing LMPC. With 2-hours remaining, Marcelli had gapped almost a half a lap lead over second place. The team then utilized a full course caution to get Miami’s Chapman Ducote behind the wheel.

“I felt like I just wrestled a 700lbs grizzly bear, Said Marcelli after his triple stint. Laguna Seca is a circuit where you’re always busy; there is no time to rest and no real straights to relax. More importantly, you can’t make mistakes around this place or you will end up in a gravel trap. Thankfully a full-course caution allowed us to pit-stop for fuel, tires and a driver change.” Said Kyle Marcelli

As the sun began to set, cool temperatures arrived. However, this didn’t hold any of the drivers back. Chapman Ducote was behind the wheel and working hard. Unluckily, contact with a GT car slowed Ducote’s pace as damage to the rear diffusor on the #89 Intersport Racing entry caused a loss of rear down force. Holding 3rd place in class and a late race charge from Core Autosports Andy Wallace, Intersport Racing chose to get Marcelli back in the seat for the last one hour to defend the 3rd place. After utilizing his time out of the car to hydrate, Marcelli was able to comfortably get back in to the car and find the speed necessary to keep the car ahead of Wallace and on the podium. For Kyle Marcelli and Chapman Ducote this marked two international podium finishes in only 6 days. Next on the schedule is the American Le Mans Series finale at Road Atlanta September 28th – October 1st – The Petit Le Mans, a 10 hour/1,000km sprint race. You can watch live qualifying coverage on Friday, September 30th at 2:35pm EST and live race coverage Saturday, October 1st at 11:25am EST on ESPN3.com. Otherwise, you can tune into ABC on Sunday, October 2nd at 4:00pm EST.

Kyle would personally like to thank his corporate partners: Lafarge (Turbo Plus), DynaPep Energy (7/11), Barrie Trim & Mouldings, Simcoe Building Centre, Thermo Seal Insulation Systems, Braille Battery, Merchant Services Ltd, Sailun Tire, Spherion Staffing Solutions, 104.1 The Dock, Leaf Racewear and Intersport Racing.

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Series ALMS
Tags marcelli, mazda raceway, oreca

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