Daytona24: Michael Marsal preview

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Michael Marsal Set for Rolex 24 Debut

Daytona Beach, FL--26 January, 2011--Just one fast year after making his first-ever professional race start at the famed Daytona International Speedway, young Michael Marsal will add an impressive new line on his racing resume this weekend as he has been signed by Racers Edge Motorsports to share the driving duties in the No. 30 3dimensional.com /Idemitsu Racing Oil/Terra Firma/ Mazda RX-8 in the 49th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona this weekend. It will be a very busy weekend for the college student, as Marsal will have not just one, but two, different races to prepare for at Daytona.

The Rolex Sports Car Series start is the career first for Marsal, who got some laps on the newly-repaved Daytona International Speedway surface under his belt during testing earlier this month. Making his Rolex Series debut in North America's premier endurance event will see Marsal pursuing a strong GT Class result with his four co-drivers while also keeping tabs on the hard-charging Daytona Prototypes he'll be sharing the 3.56-mile circuit with.

"I'm really looking forward to the weekend and I'm eager to get back in the car and keep learning how to get the most out of the Mazda," offered Marsal. "It's going to be really important to keep an eye out for all the DP's because they carry a lot of speed and they are running their own race out there. I was able to make a lot of improvement to my lap times during the test, and I enjoyed working with the team. This is a huge race, and there is so much luck that can come in to play, for better or worse. So we are just hoping to set a good pace, keep doing the laps that we can all night long and stay out of trouble to be there for the finish. I know I'm going to learn a lot this weekend and I just can't wait."

Before he tackles the challenge of 24 hours of racing, Marsal will first warm up for Saturday's Rolex 24 by racing in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season-opener on Friday as he returns to his familiar ride--the No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 that he will share with Joey Hand. The duo proved to be a highly effective pairing in 2010, scoring two wins and narrowly missing out on a run to the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge championship. With a year of racing experience to build on from his impressive rookie year last season, and some newfound experience in the higher-speed Rolex GT Class machine, Marsal is hoping to start 2011 off on the right foot with Turner Motorsport.

"Going back to Daytona this year for the Continental Tire race with Turner, I feel like I've experienced so much since this time last year and have a much better idea of what to expect," said Marsal, who carries a tremendous passion for BMW machines. "It gives me more confidence about the weekend, and I'm a lot more relaxed about the race because I know what to expect. Turner's cars are always very fast at Daytona and Joey and I worked great together last year. I was over the moon with the success that we had last year, and now I'd like to get an even better start to the year season here at Daytona."

-source: sgm

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Series GRANDAM