Daytona Beach, Fla. – Michael Marsal kicked off his 2013 racing season with a quick visit to Florida for the Roar Before the 24 test days at Daytona International Speedway.
Marsal, who has spent the past three GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge seasons competing with Turner Motorsport in a BMW M3, took his first laps around the famed Daytona circuit in the No. 71 Multimatic Motorsports Aston Martin as he takes on a new challenge in his racing career.
Learning the new car throughout six sessions during the three-day test, Marsal became acclimated to the different driving style required for a quick lap around the 3.56-mile speedway road course in the Aston Martin.
“Getting used to this new car has not been as challenging as I thought it might be,” said Marsal of the switch to the Aston Martin from BMW. “It’s really been a smooth transition.
It’s definitely a different driving style, but after we did the tests at Road Atlanta and Circuit of the Americas - which is a fantastic track - I came up to speed pretty quickly.
Going from one GS car to a different GS car is not an issue for me and I credit that to the time I spent in GT because it’s a much harder car to get acclimated to. The GS stuff really slows down and you just have to figure out the style of the car more than anything.”
Now entering his fourth professional racing season after first moving up to race in the Rolex Series GT ranks in 2011 and then in ALMS prototype competition with Dyson Racing last year, Marsal has continued to add to his racing resume.
2013 offers yet another opportunity to add to his growing list of racing accomplishments as he spends a full season learning the intricacies of the Aston Martin.
“It’s really the mid-corner speed that is different,” offered Marsal. “When you’re driving the BMWs, you can basically park it and turn it. It’s a heavy brake and then you get the car pointing in the right direction and get back to power.
It’s a bit a lighter on brake application, higher mid corner speed and get on the throttle as soon as you can. The main difference is that you can’t make it up with power so if you don’t come off the corner right you pay the price for it in the straight line. Here at Daytona that can be huge.”
Marsal also spent time testing the No. 93 Turner Motorsport BMW GT over the three-day test as he continues to finalize his plans for the Rolex 24 and the remaining 2013 Rolex Series season.
“This is my third consecutive year in a GT at Daytona,” said Marsal. “My first Rolex 24 was a great experience, but last year was a bit of a disappointment. We had a mechanical failure and the car didn’t quite have the speed.
This year I think Turner Motorsport has a great package to be competitive. We didn’t have the fastest car in the field this weekend but I think Turner will be very competitive and their cars can definitely go the distance.
I know that team really well and they know me, so it’s very comfortable and that can be important for a big race like the 24. We’ll see how it goes when we are back in a few weeks!”
Marsal will be back in race action at Daytona in two weeks’ time as the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series kicks off its 10-race season.