Drissi / Marcelli Back On The Podium at Northeast Grand Prix
No. 89 Rise of the Planet of the Apes Finishes Third
With their second podium in as many races, Tomy Drissi and Kyle Marcelli finessed their way to a third place finish Saturday driving the Intersport Racing No. 89 Rise of the Planet of the Apes / Muscle Milk LMPC car in the American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.
While they might call it Lime Rock Park, Saturday's race was anything but a walk in the park. In what turned out to be a contest of true survival of the fittest, Drissi and his Canadian co-driver used wits and determination to survive the 32 car melee. Turning in laps just a blink over 50 seconds while fighting heat and exhaustion, the race was a true test of endurance from flag-to-flag.
"This turned into a total street fight," said Drissi. "In the first part of my stint, traffic was so bunched up you literally had to fight for every inch of track. Bumper-to-bumper doesn't even describe it. In the braking zones, on the front straight… it didn't matter, you literally had cars on all four sides. I got hit and spun early on… you just have to shake it off, put your head back down and go to work."
Later, trouble reared its ugly head again.
"At some point in the middle of my run," continued Tomy, "I came upon three cars tangled up in the chicane. In an attempt to avoid them, I spun. Luckily, I missed them and the retaining wall… only by inches though."
Tomy stayed at it and made sure the No. 89 Rise of the Planet of the Apes car was in great shape when he turned it over to Kyle.
"As a driver in endurance racing, you have to be a role player," added Tomy. "I knew one of my key responsibilities was to run a good hard stint and bring back the car ready for my co-driver to take to the finish. I did my part and Kyle did his. He drove a beautiful second half and got us back on the podium. That's two in a row and we couldn't be happier."
While the team's sister car, No. 37 Lenco Mobile LMPC suffered a DNF from a failed starter motor, it should be noted driver Jon Field set the LMPC class fastest lap of the race with a 49.110.
"This is a great team," said Tomy in closing. "I've got a great co-driver in Kyle and Jon Field is fantastic. Everyone at Intersport is there to win and have fun. As a driver, you couldn't ask for a better environment. I'm having a blast."
By: tomy drissi PR