Kyle Marcelli Wins As IMSA Returns To Mid-Ohio

Empty Fuel Tanks

As the the Mid-Ohio 120 drew closer to its conclusion on Saturday, fuel was the storyline.

In the final 20 minutes, it looked as if Kyle Marcelli and his teammate Nate Stacy were bound for a runner up finish. A double-digit deficit and a sputtering fuel tank were plaguing Marcelli, but that would keep the Canadian from pushing to victory.

Marcelli took the reins of the No. 60 Roush Performance / KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 from co-driver Nate Stacy. As he came on to the track, he was faced with a 10 seconds deficit to leader Patrick Gallagher. Remarkably, Marcelli wiped the deficit clean with just over three minutes remaining in the race, eventually passing Gallagher, whose co-driver Chad McCumbee put the car on pole to steal the win.

Interestingly, the final lap didn’t come without its challenges. As a matter of fact, Marcelli radioed to his team saying there was an issue in the rear end, or he was running out of fuel. All he could do at this point was to push forward. However, Gallagher pulled alongside Marcelli in the final turns. Ultimately, the No. 60 regained its strength and pulled away towards the checkered flag.

QUOTES

Kyle Marcelli -“It was one of those never give up races,” Marcelli said. “I just kept telling myself that anything can happen.” We had to keep pushing, and our Ford Mustang GT4 was just really solid today, really consistent.”

“Finally, with just a few minutes to go it looked like I could make the pass and I knew when I finally caught him, I had to make it right away. We went door-to-door in Turn 2 and it was just really good racing. It was a lot of fun. Two-for-two for Ford and Roush Performance and KohR.

Controversy In The End For TCR

With the checkered flag flying, a pass for the lead was under review. When a GS car pulled off the track for being out of fuel, the lead car was passed in the area of that car. That area of the track was under a local yellow, and by rule now passes can be made. The No. 74 Compass Racing Audi RS3 LMS of Kuno Wittmer and Rodrigo Sales held the lead as their Compass racing teammate made the pass and made it to the checkered flag first.

After review by IMSA, the call was made that the No. 74 was the winner.

Consequently, the No. 77 Audi was placed by in the second position. Furthermore, with this ruling, Compass Racing would sweep the podium with Tom Long and co-driver Britt Casey Jr., who put the No. 77 on pole, finishing second. Lastly, Roy Block and Pierre Kleinubing made it a podium finish for Compass Racing in the No. 75.

“First of all, the Compass team and the Audi RS3 LMS were amazing all weekend,” Wittmer said. “We pitted with the perfect strategy and we ended up with a 30-second lead. We were forced to conserve a lot of fuel after that final stop.

I was quite surprised as the No. 77 made the pass.  I’m glad the stewards acted on it because it was a straight up pass under yellow. I feel bad for them, but a regulation is a regulation.”

Stephen Conley

If it races, I'll write about it, talk about it or shoot it with a camera.

I began pursuing a career in motorsports journalism immediately after attending college at Kent State University. I have hosted multiple Motorsports talk shows, worked in Country Music radio, and now i spend every day on the air in the morning with 1300 and 100.9 WMVO and in the afternoons watching the roadways around Central Ohio for 93.7 WQIO.

The excitement and the fans make everything I put out there worth while, it's been an exciting 15 years having covered everything from the Daytona 500 to the Rolex 24 and you can find me at pretty much any event run at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

What I like to bring is a look behind the scenes, a look at what and who makes the sport grow. From the guy that welds pieces back at the shop to the host in the tv booth.

Everyone has a story and I like to tell it. My main focus here at TPF is looking at the men and women behind the microphone and cameras.

My life long goal is to become a member of MRN or PRN Radio and bring the races to you. I hope that what I share now is enjoyable and gives you a unique look in to the world of motorsports.

See you at a track soon

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *