Lites: Kyle Marcelli 2009 season review

Marcelli: A Year in Review Barrie, Ontario (November 16th 2009) - 2009 was another banner year behind the wheel for the Canadian native Kyle Marcelli. Driving for the Dublin, Ohio based American LeMans Series team of ...

Marcelli: A Year in Review

Barrie, Ontario (November 16th 2009) - 2009 was another banner year behind the wheel for the Canadian native Kyle Marcelli. Driving for the Dublin, Ohio based American LeMans Series team of Intersport Racing Kyle drove the number #37 to victory lane in each of the last three events of the championship.

Kicking off the season in the sunshine state at the famed Sebring International Raceway, Marcelli immediately stood out as one of the drivers to beat, reaching podium his first outing behind the wheel. Race two of the double header weekend was an "endurance race". An hour an a half in length including a mandatory pit-stop. Marcelli took the lead on lap one and never looked back, opening up an 8 second lead over second position. With only two laps remaining it was all to vanish as Marcelli suffered an electrical failure at 140mph down the back straight ending his race prematurely. "We knew we had the car to beat, and really just put the whole puzzle together on Sunday. It was very unfortunate, but nonetheless that's racing." Said Marcelli.

Each year Kyle gets involved locally with the Lupus Flare Foundation and the annual Lupus Grand Prix, organized by Bill Bryan, a regional racing official and a Mosport International Raceway marshal. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder; it effect's organ systems, skin, joints, and internal organs. Lupus can affect both men and women, but it is eight times as likely in women. Lupus is a disease that turns the body's defences against the body itself. Lupus can affect a life in a devastating way, and sadly there is still no cure. The Lupus Grand Prix is held each year at the Mosports Karting facility. The event attracts many drivers and people from all different backgrounds, all with one goal, to have a fun and raise money and awareness for this rare disease that affects so many innocent peoples lives. "This was a project that I started in 2007; it is for a wonderful cause and supporting worthy charity. I got involved after a mentor of mine was diagnosed with the disease and everyone in the Ontario racing community rallied behind her. Kyle has been a great supporter of both the charity and the race itself. He has taken time out of his busy schedule to partake and won the inaugural race." Says Bill Bryan, Founder of the Lupus Grand Prix.

The third round of the championship was held at the newly developed New Jersey Motorsports Park. The event represented the team's first series victory and the start of what led to be a streak of three wins in a row.

"The highlight of 2009 for me was getting to test behind the wheel of Intersport Racings American LeMans Series LMP1. Since I was 13 and began the pursuit of my dream to be racing cars professionally I've admired the prototypes in the American LeMans Series. Each year my father and I would travel two hours south-west to Bomanville, Ontario for the American LeMans series weekend at Mosport. We always sat up top of turn 2 and watched the cars race by wheel to wheel. I knew that moment that's what I wanted to do and less than five years later it became a reality." Said Kyle. Following Marcelli's race win in New Jersey he got the phone call from Jon Field offering Kyle to get behind the wheel of the teams LMP1 during the Mid-Ohio pre-event testing. "The car first and foremost was much bigger and heavier than any previous car I have been in, next to that was the immense 850hp that the AER motor produced, the turbo was very responsive and it pulled right from bottom end on corner exit to 190mph at the end of the back straight. Lastly were the brakes, simply incredible. It was my first time driving with carbon brakes, it was unbelievable how quick they stop, and how deep into the corner you can brake. Overall the test went very well and showed some very competitive pace." Said Marcelli

Continuing his ever growing relationship within the Canadian motorsport community Kyle was offered to driver for Saab's only factory racing team. JL Racing, in the Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship (CCTCC). It was a 3-hour endurance race at Mosport Int'l Raceway. Kyle was teamed with Damon Sharpe and owner John Lockhart. After showing winning pace in practice the team began to suffer engine problems. Damon qualified the car on row two and was appointed to start the race. However, the engines minor problems turned into a big one as it eventually led to a failure during the first stint in the race. "I really enjoy returning to the Canadian scene of motorsport, the racers and fans show so much passion and love for the sport. John Lockhart treats me very well, I've been in the car at least once over past three years consisting of a victory and a second place finish. It was unfortunate to have to retire early in this year's event as I think we had the pace to go after another win for the factory Saab team." Said Kyle Marcelli

After missing two events on the series calendar due to schedule conflicts Marcelli was back behind the wheel of Intersports L1 IMSA Lites championship race car. After making contact while passing for the lead during Saturdays race Marcelli fell back to 13th position. With 15-minutes remaining in the race Marcelli put on the show of the weekend, using pavement on the 2.5 mile circuit to make passes never thought of, Marcelli raced his way up to 2nd position before taking the checkered flag. Racing in front of his home crowd Marcelli captured the hearts of over 40,000 fans as he rebounded on Sunday to take the feature race win on Canadian soil. "This was a very special moment for Kyle and our team." Said Intersport Racing Team Manager Brian Alder.

The next event on the calendar for Marcelli was the finale round for the American LeMans feeder series of the IMSA Lites Championship. Held at the prestigious Road Atlanta circuit in support of the Petite LeMans. Marcelli and the Intersport Racing team again proved that they were the ones to beat, immediately topping the charts in official practice. Suffering issues in qualifying Marcelli had only enough for a 5th position starting spot. Taking to the track for the feature race confident and ready, the green waved and Marcelli instantly began to pick off positions. It was about the halfway point when Marcelli took the race lead from there never looked back taking the race win with fists pumped in the air and the team cheering over pit wall for their third straight win. "We finished the season with another victory at Road Atlanta's Petit LeMans, although we were not running for the championship we showed everyone that we had a championship calibre team and driver combo." Says Brian Alder of Intersport Racing

To wrap up what has already been a successful season behind the wheel for the young canuk, Marcelli drove for Team GDT in the Star Mazda championship finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. After completing their inaugural season in the Star Mazda championship the team gained the valuable data information and experience necessary to go after race wins and championships come 2010 .It was a difficult weekend finishing only 8th position, nonetheless both the team and Marcelli showed the needed pace and left confident that they can be a championship contender for 2010.

Most recently Kyle held his annual Year-End Celebration party. Located on Barrie's beautiful lakeshore at the Robert Simpson Brewery, it was a splendid evening with live entertainment, food, drinks, prizes and giveaways. Most sponsors, supporters were in attendance as well as much of Barrie's media. "We hold an annual Launch Party and Year-End party, it's just a great way to gather everyone together and celebrate whether it be the success of that season or creating excitement going into the following race season." Said Kyle Marcelli

2010 is shaping up to be very exciting and details will be released very shortly. Stay Tuned!!!


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Series IMSA Others
Drivers Jon Field , Robert Simpson , Kyle Marcelli , Brian Alder