SEBRING, FL – It was a near perfect season opener for BAR1 Motorsports as their 2013 American Le Mans Series Championship drive got underway at the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida.
The annual event marked BAR1 Motorsports’ return to the American Le Mans Series Championship and team’s second full season of competition. It was a thriller from start to finish for the teams No. 8 Evident Capital, MBRP Performance Exhaust car driven by Kyle Marcelli, Chris Cumming and Stefan Johansson. The team led many laps and battled within the top three positions for most of the race before finishing second place.
Prior to the race, the Le Mans Prototype Challenge teams were dealt a wild card when the Series issued notice that all teams would be relegated to a new class tire supplier, Continental Tire. While the change is the same for everyone, teams were left quickly sorting out setups and developing new race strategies based on the tire’s performance.
“We’re very happy with new Continental Tires,” said BAR1 owner, Brian Alder. “They’ve been as fast as last year’s tire and seem to show minimal degradation in performance.”
Kyle Marcelli qualified the No. 8 Evident Capital, MBRP car in 5th position with a 1:54.520, while Rusty Mitchell qualified the No. 7 G.I. Joe Redemption car in 7th 1:55.282.
“Sebring is the toughest race of the season,” said Alder. “It’s actually tougher than a 24 hour race. The track is extremely rough and pushes cars to their limit. To stand on the podium is spectacular.”
“I first need to give credit and congratulations to our crew,” added Alder, “for building two bullet-proof cars. As I said, finishing the race without any mechanical issues is truly an accomplishment. In the No. 8 car Kyle, Chris and Stefan did an outstanding job keeping the car out of trouble all day. Being there at the end fighting for a win was very exciting.”
KYLE MARCELLI: “Definitely bitter sweet. The 12 Hours of Sebring is a long week both physically and mentally making it one of the most difficult races to be successful in. To finish second is truly an accomplishment for everyone at BAR1 Motorsports. It gives us good points to start or season in pursuit of the championship title.”
“Overall, I think we consciously went a bit too conservative with our set up as we were unsure of the new tire in a long run. That said, we as a team raced hard from start to finish. A great job by everyone. I look forward to Long Beach where we will be itching for a victory.”
CHRIS CUMMING: “It’s tough to be so close to the win but to take second place is a good start to the season. Everyone on the team worked hard all week and I’m really proud of them. We’ll be back even stronger at Long Beach going for that top step.”
STEFAN JOHANSSON: “It feels a little bitter sweet to finish second after having led for most of the way, but it just didn’t go our way when it mattered towards the end. The team did a superb job all day as did my co drivers, no one put a foot wrong all day.”
Next on the schedule for the BAR1 Motorsports is the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach scheduled for April 19-20, 2013.
BAR1 Motorsports is partnered with Evident Capital, MBRP Performance Exhaust, Merchant Services, Ltd., Petro Comm, Slacker Inc. and Stefan Johansson Växjö for its second year of full competition in the American Le Mans Series. The team is located in Plain City, Ohio. Team owner, Brian Alder, has been an active and winning crew chief in the American Le Mans Series since its inception. You can find out more about BAR1 at www.bar1motorsports.com, follow the team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bar1Motorsports or Twitter @bar1motorsports.
From Marcelli Motorsports Inc.