Marcus Marshall to make debut at Indianapolis

Aussie Carrera Cup ace joins forces with top Farnbacher squad Gold Coast driver Marcus Marshall is set to take on the world's best Porsche drivers in the next round of the Porsche Supercup at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September ...

Aussie Carrera Cup ace joins forces with top Farnbacher squad

Gold Coast driver Marcus Marshall is set to take on the world's best Porsche drivers in the next round of the Porsche Supercup at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 27/28.

The 25-year-old, who races a VIP Pet Foods/AEG Power Tools-backed Porsche in the Australian Carrera Cup and currently sits second in the championship, will join Infineon Team Farnbacher in a third car alongside team drivers Frank Stippler and Pierre Kaffer.

The Farnbacher team, established in 1992, won the 2001 Porsche Supercup with driver Jorg Bergmeister.

Marshall will drive an American-based 2003-model car that has been used as a corporate ride vehicle driven by none other than 1978 Formula 1 World Champion and outright racing legend, Mario Andretti.

The Indianapolis adventure began for Marshall a month ago during a visit to the recent Porsche Supercup round at the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.

"The trip to Hungary planted the seed for this drive," said Marshall, who will fly out to the United States on Tuesday.

"Horst Farnbacher (team manager) mentioned he had a car available for Indianapolis and they were really keen to see me in a car there. I haven't had time to get excited about it because we've been working flat out night and day getting everything with visas and licenses and the like all sorted out."

The Indianapolis event is the championship finale for the Porsche Supercup and features two separate rounds rather than one which is the normal race format for the category.

Marshall is looking forward to racing on the historic Brickyard layout, even if it is the Formula 1 infield road course rather than the famous oval that holds the annual Indianapolis 500 IndyCar event.

"Indianapolis is one hell of a place. It's going to be awesome. The track uses part of the turn one banking as its final corner so the cars are really flying through there."

The Porsche GT3 Cup cars used in the Supercup are exactly the same specification used by Marshall and his Carrera Cup Australia rivals so the Queenslander is confident his car knowledge gained in Australia during the season will hold him in good stead.

"I really don't know what to expect and that's one of the reasons why I'm going and doing this. I want to rate myself up against the best guys in the world in this style of car and racing. I'd like to think that going well against the guys in Australia has put me in good stead for a good result at Indianapolis."

Marshall hopes that a strong result at Indianapolis will help make his goal of racing full-time in the Porsche Supercup in 2004 a reality.

"Hopefully I can strike up some international interest with the Farnbacher team for the potential of going over and racing Supercup in 2004. If a result comes from the weekend, it's only going to help me for next year.

"Another plus for the weekend is that Indianapolis is the only track the Supercup cars can't test at. They can test at every other track in Europe so if I come back next year, then I've got some vital Indianapolis experience."

Australia has already tasted success in the Porsche Supercup at Indianapolis. Last year, Weissach-based Victorian Alex Davison, 23, won one of the Indianapolis races on his way to sixth place in the 2002 championship.

Marshall already has international racing experience, having raced for Murray Racing in last year's British Formula Renault Winter Series. He previously raced for the Valvoline/Sonic team in the Australian Formula Ford Championship, finishing third in the series in 2002.

In 2003 he has scored a victory in round three of the Carrera Cup at Winton and sits second in the championship behind Jim Richards with the next round at Bathurst a fortnight after Indianapolis.

Marshall has also been hired by Team Brock to drive in the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 V8 Supercar event alongside Greg Ritter on the same weekend.

-cca-

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Mario Andretti , Jörg Bergmeister , Marcus Marshall , Jim Richards , Alex Davison , Greg Ritter , Bob Jane , Pierre Kaffer , Frank Stippler