Michael Marsal returns to Rolex Series podium at Laguna Seca

Michael Marsal scored his best ever result this Sunday with a second place finish in GRAND-AM Rolex Series

Monterey, Calif. (8 September 2013) – Michael Marsal scored his best ever result in GRAND-AM Rolex Series competition this Sunday with a second place finish in the Continental Sports Car Festival from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It was his second podium of the year in the Turner Motorsport BMW, as the New Yorker is poised to finish the 2013 Rolex Series season on a strong note.

“That was fantastic, it was a great finish,” beamed a champagne-soaked Marsal. “We came out of the box strong with a fantastic car from Turner Motorsport. We just executed a great race. Start to finish, we did everything we were supposed to do and the result shows. It was incredible to be on the podium at Road America, and to come back and do it again here at Laguna is even better.”

Marsal opened the race from the 11th position and drove a clean stint before handing off the car to teammate Billy Johnson on Lap 26 during the race’s first caution period.

#93 Turner Motorsport BMW M3: Michael Marsal
#93 Turner Motorsport BMW M3: Michael Marsal

Photo by: Jeff Davidson

“I have been working to keep improving in the GT cars, and I felt great about how the race started today and what I was able to do,” said Marsal. “I really focused on not burning the tires off and conserving through my stint. I just kept hitting my marks the entire time, improved my position, and was able to bring the car back in eighth to hand off to Billy.”

Johnson was able to scramble through a wild finish to bring the car to the finish in second place, giving the pairing their best finish of the year.

The Rolex race was the second on the day for Marsal, who has adapted well to a frequent schedule of double-header race days between Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition and his Rolex Series duties.

Marsal once again delivered a strong performance in the No. 71 Aston Martin Vantage and set the No. 71 machine’s fastest lap of the race on Lap 7 as he wheeled his way around the challenging Laguna Seca circuit. Following a full course caution period less than half an hour into the race, Marsal restarted fifth in line with 1 hour and 29 minutes remaining after having started the race from 12th on the grid.

He worked his way up to as high as third through the remainder of his 1 hour and 24 minute opening stint. While running sixth with just over an hour of the race left to run, the Multimatic Motorsports team took advantage of a perfectly timed caution and called Marsal to pit lane for routine service and a driver change.

Marsal handed the car over to co-driver Tonis Kasemets who returned to the track 11th in line and maneuvered his way up into the seventh position. Unfortunately, the promising run was cut short with just about 30 minutes remaining in the race due to a broken ball joint.

“The car was great and it was really fun to race the Aston around here at Laguna Seca,” offered Marsal. “It was going really well up until the issue with the car there at the end, but that’s just how it goes sometimes. We’ll just focus forward now to Lime Rock and see if we can get ourselves up on the podium in the season-finale race.”

Lime Rock Park will see the Rolex Series ride into history’s sunset on September 28, with the weekend also playing host to the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season finale.

Michael Marsal Racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Tonis Kasemets , Billy Johnson , Michael Marsal
Teams Turner Motorsport , Multimatic Motorsports
Article type Race report
Tags laguna seca, michael marsal, monterey, rolex series