The following is a press release from JL Racing’s Phil Reilly – looks like it was a great weekend in Canada!
With a small margin of 24 seconds in a 3 hour race, JL Racing took first place in the GTA class endurance race at Mosport this past weekend. Alex Toth, Diane Dale and Kyle Marcelli, all shared in the driving to bring home the First Place Trophy.
Diane Dale started the race and immediately gained several positions to put the car in second place. She consistently improved her lap times and kept the position for a solid hour. Her speed and consistency laid a solid foundation that would prove invaluable later in the race.
Alex Toth then stepped into the car and within a few laps posted the fastest lap the Saab 9-3 has ever done at Mosport. Alex was inspired and the car was flying. First place in the GTA class was the Subaru however, and the Saab was not gaining on the Subaru.
After the second hour JL Racing was still holding second position when Kyle Marcelli took the wheel for the last session. Seventeen year old, Kyle Marcelli is FF1600 Canadian Champion for 2007 and it was a treat to see him behind the wheel of the Saab 9-3 – taking the car to its limits. The team did some calculations. If the Subaru came in for a final pit stop, the Saab might win. If the Subaru team could finish the race on without refueling then the race would be theirs.
With about five laps to go, Kyle Marcelli radioed in with the news that the front driver side tire had blown. He limped back to the pit area where the crew frantically changed the tire and sent him out once more. He started some incredible hot laps to pick up speed but the team had lost a lot of time.
Suddenly the Subaru WRX suddenly appeared in pit lane. They had to make one final stop. With a quick splash and dash they headed out and everyone waited in trepidation. The chequered flag came out and the Saab 9-3 was the first to appear at the last corner. Kyle Marcelli screamed past the finish line to take the race. After three hours of incredible racing, the Saab 9-3 won by only 24 seconds.
It was the first time that all three drivers had raced a Saab 9-3 and so the victory was extra sweet. The race was also a huge testament to the strength of the Saab 9-3. All three drivers commented on how much fun the car was to drive, even though they were in a punishing endurance race that pushed to car to it’s extreme limits. Unseasonably cool weather was also an advantage as the turbo does well in cold, dry air. As the season draws to a close, the win at Mosport confirms the Saab performance pedigree and demonstrates once more, the potential this car has in the motorsport arena.
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Congratulations JL Racing!!!!