Birmingham, Ala. (31 March 2012) - Michael Marsal had hoped to follow-up his top-10 finish in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season opener at Daytona with another strong finish in Round 2, but instead the Turner Motorsport driver faced disappointment at Barber Motorsports Park when a race-ending crash took his No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW out of contention just laps into the 2.5-hour event.
Among a combined-class field of nearly 80 cars, Marsal opened the race from the 20th position and displayed quick thinking and maneuvering when he avoided a Turn 1 pile-up which saw him pick up 10 positions to run 10th when the race took its first full course caution. As the GS field approached the green flag on the restart, several cars stacked up causing an accordion effect and the No. 97 Turner BMW was hit from behind and turned hard into the wall.
Marsal emerged from the car unscathed, but the BMW machine sustained significant damage and was unable to continue.
"That was a very big hit, and I'm impressed with how strong Will (Turner) builds these cars," said Marsal, who was co-driving with Boris Said. "There was some crazy driving and I'm really disappointed to have our day end before it even got started. The car was just so good, all weekend long and I was looking forward to moving up in the race. So this is not at all what we wanted, but we'll come back stronger at Homestead."
Marsal next heads to Long Beach, California as he makes his American Le Mans Series debut with Dyson Racing April 13-14. He returns to GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition for Round 3 at Homestead-Miami Speedway April 27-28.
The Barber 200 event will be televised April 8 at 12:00 PM (ET) on SPEED