DOUBLE-STINTING MICHELIN TIRES PAYS OFF IN BALTIMORE
BALTIMORE, MD. (September 3, 2011) – Veteran Tomy Drissi of Hollywood and his young Canadian co-driver Kyle Marcelli of Barrie, Ontario, doubled stinted their Michelin tires to great advantage to claim a third place overall finish and the Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) class victory in the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix.
The inaugural Baltimore event, the seventh stop of the 2011 American Le Mans Series season, drew a massive crowd to the 2.04-mile temporary circuit around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
The LMPC victory was the second in the past three American Le Mans Series races for the Intersport Racing team duo of Drissi and the 21 years old Marcelli. “It was an incredible day and incredible weekend - Kyle and I really had a perfect weekend,” Drissi said.
“The Michelin tires were great and on the second stint we didn’t change tires and that kept us really aggressive with out pit strategy. I was able to bring the car into the pits in the lead and he brought it home in the lead,” Drissi said.
Finishing fourth overall was the Genoa Racing LMPC of Eric Lux and Elton Julian – the result pushing Lux to within one point of the class championship lead. Taking fifth overall and completing the LMPC podium was CORE autosport team of Jon Bennet and Frankie Montecalvo. Michelin is the exclusive tire for the LMPC class.
Ireland’s Steven Kane and Humaid Al Masaood of the United Arab Emirates in an LMP 1 class Mazda Prototype won the race. Dyson Racing’s Chris Dyson and Guy Smith followed them across the line.
Michelin technical partner Muscle Milk Aston Martin, winner of four races in 2011, including the last three consecutive events, fell victim to electrical issues and was unable to complete a single lap of practice, qualifying, or the warm up. The car developed braking related issues during the race. After an extended pit stop, the car returned to set the fastest lap of the race en route to a 25th place finish.
They were not alone among the Michelin technical partners in encountering issues. Both the Risi Competizione Ferrari and the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche were penalized and moved to the back of the starting grid after they made contact in qualifying. The front row qualifying #4 Corvette was spun by contact on the opening lap, but recovered to finish third in the GT class. The #3 Corvette was running second but spun after contact on a late restart and was penalized.
“We want to congratulate the race organizers and the Baltimore fans on a tremendously successful new event,” said Silvia Mammone, manager motorsports, Michelin North America. “Our technical partner teams certainly showed the speed needed to win as the Muscle Milk Aston Martin prototype set the fastest lap of the race and the #4 Corvette posted the fastest GT lap, but today was just not our day.”