Strong Test Has Marsal Looking Forward to Long Beach Debut with Dyson Racing
Long Beach, CA- (11 April 2012) – Michael Marsal will make his American Le Mans Series debut this Saturday as he joins the famed Dyson Racing organization to drive the No. 20 Dyson Racing Mazda B11/66 Lola with co-driver Eric Lux in the 38th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The race start marks the first foray into Prototype racing for Marsal, who has quickly established himself as a name to watch in his exploits racing touring machinery for Turner Motorsport in GRAND-AM’s Rolex Sports Car and Continental Tire Challenge categories.
While the transition to the top-flight P1 Prototype class is a significant step up in every direction of the friction circle--braking, acceleration and downforce-fed change of direction, it is one that Marsal has long been preparing for.
“Ever since we first started the conversation with Chris (Dyson, Vice President and Sporting Director of Dyson Racing) about this opportunity, I’ve been doubling up on time in the gym.” offered Marsal, who is set to graduate from college this spring. “And when I first drove the car, I was really happy that I had! With the strain on your neck and all the forces that the car puts you through, you have to be in good shape to get the most out of yourself and the car. Chris and I set out a plan for me to work my way up to this car, starting by testing some lower-powered ‘downforce’ cars, getting a feel for that experience and then stepping up to the P1 Lola.”
It isn’t just the physical challenge of driving the Prototype that lies ahead for Marsal, as the move to the top tier machinery is another chapter in his rapidly developing motorsports career. But teaming with a group like Dyson Racing means that no detail has been overlooked, and the team has conducted a series of tests to prepare Marsal and co-driver Lux for the Prototype move.
“I’m glad that we did as many test days as we did, just to get used to those forces and what to expect. It’s a completely different world to drive a car with this much grip, but it’s like anything with a race car--once you get some exposure to it and adjust to the speeds, you just start looking for more! Each time I’ve been in the car, I’ve been able to unlock more speed and I just want to keep that progression going.”
The most recent test saw Marsal back at the “short” test circuit at Sebring International Raceway earlier this week as the team worked through the set ups that will favor the unusual layout that makes Long Beach such a rewarding challenge for the drivers.
“Long Beach is a wild track, with concrete walls everywhere and that really slow final turn that then goes right into the long blast down the front stretch,” said Marsal, who will be adding yet another fabled track to his racing resume this weekend. “It’s a place, and an event, that has so much history, you can’t help be excited just to be getting the chance to race there. It is our first Prototype race and my first ALMS race so there is a lot to take in. Obviously Eric (Lux) and I are very competitive and are motivated to do well, but we also want to have a smart approach to the weekend, building our speed and learning as much as we can. I just can’t wait.”