Marcelli Looking To Repeat Last Year’s Win 

Merchant Services Racing will head to the streets of Baltimore for this weeks American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón for the Baltimore Sports Car Challenge presented by SRT. The eighth round of the American Le Mans Series championship is 2-hour charge through the city’s Inner Harbor district. As defending champions of the 2011 event, the team hopes to repeat and keep their podium streak alive.

Fielding two cars for the event, Tony Burgess will join Kyle Marcelli in the No. 8 Lamex, Butterfield Farms ORECA, while Lucas and Matt Downs take on the driving duties for the No. 7 sister car.

“I don’t want the guys to be over confident going into this round,” noted team principal, Brian Alder, “but I think we’re in a good place. We know the cars. We know the track. And we’re defending champions. If you combine that with our consistency over the summer, you’d have to give us pretty good odds.”

“More importantly though,” added Alder, “I’m confident in the way the team is performing week in and week out. The crew is really finding their groove. They’re avoiding mistakes and they’re operating in a pro-active mode. They’re not leaving anything to chance with car prep and they’re performing extremely well on their pit stops. I’m real happy with those guys.”

The team also has the benefit of their lead driver, Kyle Marcelli. Marcelli has earned the respect of his fellow competitors and many in the American Le Mans Series. He’s fast, consistent and knows how to stay out of trouble. Just last week, Marcelli shattered the Prototype Challenge track record at Road America by over one second clocking a time of 1:57.172, six tenths quicker than 3-time 24 Hour Le Mans Winner Tom Kimber-Smith, Indy Car Ace Bruno Junquria and Sports Car Veteren Marino Franchiti.

The Baltimore Sports Car Challenge presented by SRT is a two-day event.  ALMS teams will take the track for two practice sessions on Friday, August 31, followed by qualifying at 5:27 p.m. (ET).  Green flag for the race is on Saturday, September 1, at 4:30 p.m. (ET).

Full and live coverage starts at 4:15 p.m. ET Saturday, September 1, on ESPN3.  ABC’s television coverage of the Baltimore Sports Car Challenge presented by SRT begins at noon (ET) on Sunday, September. 2.

The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is the world`s leading sports car championship and is recognized as the Global Leader in Green Racing. In the tradition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, multiple classes of cars – purpose-built prototypes and production-based Grand Touring automobiles – race on the track at the same time to create compelling race action and constant passing. All cars in the Series compete using one of five approved alternative fuels or energy sources: clean sulfur-free diesel, cellulosic E85 or E10, Isobutanol and electric hybrid technologies. The Series has more automobile marques involved than any other major race series in the world as manufacturers develop relevant technologies on track that transfer directly to the customer showroom. The ALMS competes at North America`s premier road racing tracks and selected temporary street circuits in major urban markets.