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Sebring: Jason Martinelli preview

Jason Martinelli confident about World Challenge at Sebring following test SEBRING, Fla. -- Jason Martinelli will be returning to the Speed World Challenge Series for the season opener at Sebring International Raceway on March 18, following a ...

Jason Martinelli confident about World Challenge at Sebring following test

SEBRING, Fla. -- Jason Martinelli will be returning to the Speed World Challenge Series for the season opener at Sebring International Raceway on March 18, following a successful test at the track in the Touring Car-class No. 29 Tecmark BMW 325Ci.

Martinelli and his friend and co-competitor Jeff McMillan were both present at the test two weekends ago as they sought the ideal race setup for Sebring's bumpy 3.7-mile circuit.

"I'm really excited to race with such a great team," said Martinelli of teaming up with Tecmark. "The car is ready, so now it's up to me. I'll be taking it one turn at a time."

Martinelli will be competing in the Sebring and Lime Rock rounds of Speed World Challenge. Lime Rock is the home track for the Roxbury, Connecticut resident. His teammate will be Nic Jonsson, who drove to second in the 2005 Touring Car championship behind the wheel of a Tecmark BMW.

Later this season, Martinelli will be teaming up with McMillan to field a BMW M3 in the Grand-Am Cup Series. "We had a good weekend at the test, and Jeff and I learned a lot about each other," said Martinelli. "He's a lot like me. He's not there to show off; he's there to win."

Martinelli got his first taste of the SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship in 2004. He then finished the season in the Grand-Am Cup Series. Behind the wheel of a BMW in both series, Martinelli feels that the marque is the perfect race car. He commented that "the BMWs are ideal for the track. You can brake really late into corners, and they take the turns better than the bigger, heavier cars. I'm really looking forward to being back in a BMW at Sebring."

Martinelli will qualify for the Touring Car race on Thursday, March 17 at 11:20 am EST. The race will be held on Friday, beginning at 11:45 am. The race will be 50 minutes in length.

"Fifty minutes doesn't seem like a lot until you're racing in Florida!" said Martinelli. "I did long stints during the test so I could get acclimated to the heat and humidity."

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