Michael Marsal: “There were times when you were fighting for a spot but going through the ST (class) traffic, and it was really just insane."
Kansas City, Kan. – Michael Marsal delivered another impressive performance in the No. 71 Multimatic Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage in Saturday’s GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge event at Kansas Speedway to score a top-10 result in his Kansas debut. Marsal relished the race as he and co-driver Tonis Kasemets drove to a ninth place result in the 2.5-hour race around the 2.37-mile combination road course/oval circuit.
Marsal opened the race from the ninth position on the grid and ran as high as seventh as he remained behind the wheel of the Aston Martin for the first 50 minutes of the race. “I had so much fun in this race,” said Marsal. “There were times when you were fighting for a spot but going through the ST (class) traffic, and it was really just insane. I had a blast and the car was good, really good. So that gave me confidence and it was just a lot of fun out there.”
After handing the car over to Kasemets to take to the finish, the No. 71 continued to run among the top-10 and looked poised for a top-five finish in the closing stages of the race, but an electronic issue on the No. 71 Aston Martin with under 20 minutes to go saw the car temporarily lose power before Kasemets was able to recycle the system and return to race pace.
The issue saw the Aston Martin drop to 10th in the order. A long full course caution immediately followed and when the green flag finally flew for the restart, Kasemets had just three green flag laps to make up the ground lost and improved to ninth at the finish.
The day was not yet done for Marsal following the checkered flag, as he had just about an hour to prepare for his Rolex Series night race with Turner Motorsport which was held under the Kansas Speedway lights.
Marsal, who scored his first Rolex Series podium of third last weekend at Road America, appeared poised to return to podium form in Saturday night’s 2.75-hour race. Teaming with Billy Johnson in the No. 93 Turner Motorsport BMW M3, Marsal ran among the top-10 as he opened the race before pitting during the first of three caution periods for routine service and a driver change. Marsal handed the car over to Johnson who would take the BMW up to third in the final stages of the race.
Unfortunately the strong podium run came to a halt with just minutes remaining, when a tire issue saw the team’s day end early.
Marsal will see a three-week break in race action as GRAND-AM next heads to Laguna Seca in Monterey, California September 7-8.
The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge event will be televised on August 25 at 3:00 PM (ET) on FOX Sports 1.