Michael Marsal Returns to site of debut victory at VIR

Targets return to podium to kick-start 2011 Championship

13 May, 2011–You never forget your first, and for Turner Motorsport racer Michael Marsal, his first-ever win in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge last year was particularly rewarding, as it came at Virginia International Raceway, one of the most challenging tracks on the schedule. The victory set off a back to back win streak among a string of podium appearances for Marsal and his Turner Motorsport co-driver Joey Hand that saw the duo fighting for the championship all the way to the last lap of the year.

Fast forward one season, and Marsal is back at VIR with a familiar car, co-driver, and goal this weekend as GRAND-AM stages round four of the ten-race championship with Saturday’s Bosch Engineering 200. Entering the weekend sixth in the team championship standings, Marsal and Hand have not got off to the fast start of the year that they had been hoping for with finishes of eleventh, seventh, and sixth in the opening three rounds.

“I’m excited to be back at VIR and obviously coming to a track where you have won before is an entirely different feeling,” said Marsal, who made his Rolex 24 At Daytona debut earlier this year. “We could certainly use another win this weekend to get us closer to where we want to be championship-wise. It’s a little bit frustrating to feel like I’ve improved a lot in the car since last year, but not have the points to show for it yet. But I know that if I keep doing my job and getting faster, the points will come. This is such a competitive series and with just ten races in the championship, anything can happen.”

The familiar yellow and blue Turner Motorsport machines have made headlines so far this year, with the firm also taking a debut win in the Rolex Series.

“This track is pretty unbelievable,” said Marsal about the 3.27-mile undulating natural terrain road course set in the Virginia countryside. “It has a little bit of everything, with some very fast sections. The BMW M3 is very good here–it is so well balanced with good power and good braking. The Turner guys obviously know how to get the job done here at this track so hopefully we can do that again on Saturday.”

The action will kick off with a promoter test day on Thursday, with Marsal returning to the track on Friday as practice sessions preceed qualifying Friday afternoon. It will be an early start on Saturday, with a final practice session at 8:30 AM before the 2.5 hour race goes green at 11:15 AM. The GRAND-AM 200 event will be broadcast on SPEED Channel May 22nd at 1:00 PM ET

Full results to be carried at http://www.grand-am.com


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