Thrilled Marcelli conquers Mosport

DEAN MCNULTY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:08 AM ET

BOWMANVILLE -- Veteran sports car racer David Brabham and co-driver Scott Sharp won the big trophy at the American Le Mans Series Mobil 1 Mosport Grand Prix Sunday.

Series rival Simond Pagenaud finished second in the No. 66 De Ferran Racing Acura with former Toronto Indy winner Afrian Fernandez rounding out the podium in third place.

But it was 20-year-old Kyle Marcelli who won the hearts of more than 40,000 fans at the 10-turn road course Sunday when he drove the No. 37 Lafarge/Alpine Stars Intersports Racing Elan DP02 to victory in the preliminary IMSA Lites class championship.

Marcelli, of Barrie, could hardly contain his enthusiasm after he parked his race car in Mosport's Victory Lane. He readily admits that he is a huge fan of Toronto's Ron Fellows, who has had more than his share of celebrations in the very same place during his stellar career.

"It was (Fellows) who got me into racing," Marcelli said. "I would come (to Mosport) with my dad and sit in Corner 2 and marvel at how Ron would make that turn."

Sunday it was his turn.

Marcelli started the race second on the grid behind American Lucas Downs, where he stayed until the final five laps of the 21-lap event.

At one point, he was as much as 2.5 seconds back, an eternity at this level of racing.

"I just kept pushing and pushing until I knew I could get by him and I finally did," Marcelli said.

Next for Marcelli is a few races in Europe than a giant step up to the ALMS P1 prototypes for the 2010 season. He tested in the Intersports P1 a week ago at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Circuit near Columbus.

'SIMPLY AMAZING'

"The car was simply amazing," he said. "My first on-track session the circuit was a little damp and I was sent out on wet tires. I was mainly focused on getting comfortable. After that, the team sent me out on new dry tires and I was able to begin to push. The power, brakes and overall grip of the race car was like none other. The test was a huge success."

In yesterday's Cooper Tires Atlantic Championship, Jonathan Summerton was full value leading wire to wire in the No. 34 Newman Wachs Racing Mazda Panoz DP02. Teammate John Edwards was second and Frederic Vervisch was third for Genoa Racing.

"Everything we did today went down really good," Summerton said. "I couldn't ask for anything better.

Series points leader Simona De Silvestro, crashed with four laps to go and finished last.

Toronto's Robert Wickens finished fourth.

DEAN.MCNULTY@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos