Marcelli shows speed in F2000 debut Barrie, Ontario (April 22nd) - Marcelli, a rookie in the Pro 2-Litre Championship leaves the first weekend of the ultra competitive Series at Virginia International Raceway with a pair...
Marcelli shows speed in F2000 debut
Barrie, Ontario (April 22nd) - Marcelli, a rookie in the Pro 2-Litre Championship leaves the first weekend of the ultra competitive Series at Virginia International Raceway with a pair of top five finishes.
The first weekend of 2008 is in the books for race car driver Kyle Marcelli. Having never stepped into the car before the weekend Marcelli arrived at Virginia International Raceway Monday afternoon in preparation for the first round of the 2008 Pro Formula 2000 Championship Series. Taking the next step in Marcelli's dominant career thus far, the Brian Graham Racing prepared Zetec and Marcelli took to the track Tuesday the 15th to shake down the car and clean the dust off the driving shoes, "it was a learning day for us, a chance to learn the car, the track and the new series tires" said Marcelli.
Upon the completion of Tuesday's shake down we had Wednesday to prep the car before the first official test day on Thursday.
Thursday proved to be a difficult day for the team as they suffered electrical problems all day. However, Marcelli was able to make it out for the last session to get some valuable seat time. "Unfortunately we lost the entire day to try set up changes to the car, but it was good to make it out for the last session to give Kyle a chance to learn the track and the new car." Say's team owner Brian Graham.
Friday witnessed two official 25 minute sessions, the team used this time to make the set-up changes to the car that they were hoping to try on Thursday.
Saturday morning qualifying vastly approached. It proved to be lap record setting with warm conditions, good rubber laid down and minimal wind. With over 40 cars on track it was crucial to put together a good lap in qualifying without traffic.
"It's important to start at the front for the race, especially here at V.I.R as it is a tough track to pass on. If you're able to get a clean lap in qualifying then you should be in good shape, if you can get a clean lap with a draft you will be in even better shape. I was able to get a clean lap in passing only one car into the climbing S's, I crossed the stripe with a 1.55.9 almost 2 full seconds faster than last year's pole time but that only put me 7th on the grid, unable to get in another clear lap we were forced to save tires for the race." Say's Marcelli.
The green flag dropped for the start of round one in the F2000 championship series, with a big accident in corner one a full course yellow quickly came out. Two laps later the field went green and Marcelli quickly moved up multiple spots to settle into 4th. With four cars battling for 3rd place it allowed 1st and 2nd to get a gap. Going back and forth lap to lap Marcelli crossed the stripe 5th for round one of the championship.
Sunday mornings qualifying witnessed similar conditions, with Marcelli bettering his time crossing the line with a 1.55.8 which earned him a 5th place starting spot for the feature, it just goes to show how tight the field is.
With 40 plus cars roaring across the stripe to take the green flag at the famed circuit Marcelli again saw himself in a race long battle for third place. With a four car train fighting it out all race long Marcelli crossed the stripe nose to tail taking another well earned top five finish.
"Obviously you're always going for a win, but we had to look at the big picture here. It's a long season ahead of us with twelve races to go in the championship, two top fives is a good start to the season now we just have to go for the wins." Say's Marcelli.
After the first weekend of competition Marcelli and the Brian Graham racing team leave Virginia International Raceway sitting 4th in the overall championship and 2nd in the team championship.
The next round is in Brasselton, Georgia at Road Atlanta where they will be seeking a win.