Austin, Texas – Michael Marsal’s 2013 GRAND-AM season got off to an early start as he spent the past two days testing at the new state-of-the-art Circuit of the Americas (COTA) located in Austin, Texas.
COTA is one of three new venues on the 2013 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge schedule this year and will mark GRAND-AM’s second stop of the year with the series making its race debut February 28-March 2.
“I’m still getting used to driving the Aston Martin,” said Marsal, who is making the move after three seasons in a Turner Motorsport BMW M3. “The Turner car was really developed by last year, but the Aston is relatively new and has a lot of potential. It takes a different style of driving and I am just getting used to it. It’s also been fun to get to know a new team and pick up on what they do well. I’m really looking forward to racing this car.”
A very technical track with long laps, the circuit outside of the city that likes to “Keep Austin Weird” is unlike any other that the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series visits.
“It’s an incredible track - it is very technical, and there are some corner combinations that are pretty unusual,” said Marsal of the new facility. “It is really wide--enough room to go four wide on the straight, which could get interesting going into the really big braking zones. So I think it is going to make for a good race. It is a wide open track, but there are also a lot of things to hit so it’s not like you can just go off without any consequences. It is different from any other track that we have in the States.”
Marsal also spent time testing the Turner Motorsport GT as his plans continue to evolve ahead of the 2013 Rolex Series season.
“The GT M3 has been pretty quick here, and I think some of that comes from the work the team has done with the car and some of it is just me getting more and more comfortable with the M3 GT,” said Marsal. “This was my first time with the new Continental Tires, and they made a big difference as well. It is a lot of fun to drive the GT car around this track and I’m looking forward to coming back here again in the spring.”
Next up for Marsal is the Roar Before the 24 test held at Daytona International Speedway January 4-6.