Marcel Fassler said he’s gradually getting up to speed at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, in his unexpected first laps of the challenging circuit.
The Swiss driver, a regular on Corvette Racing’s No. 4 car endurance lineup, is filling in for Tommy Milner this weekend due to a hand injury that’s ruled Milner out for at least this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event.
Fassler explained the late-call left him with little, but a sufficient amount of time to prepare for the race.
“They got in touch on Monday to know that it might be possible that Tommy couldn’t race here. The final decision I got was Tuesday morning,” he told Sportscar365.
“As soon as I knew I had to race here I went for a little sim session to get used to [the track]. Still, it’s quite different if you have to race it in real [life].
“I knew that it’s quite a fast race track with quite a lot of elevation in it. It’s for sure much more challenging for real than in the sim.
“In the sim you don’t feel if the car is light or different. But at least it gives you an idea of how the track looks like. Therefore it was for sure OK.”
Fassler turned 25 laps in Friday’s opening practice session with the focus of improving “lap by lap”.
His best time in the session was 2.3 seconds slower than the GT Le Mans pace-setting No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR.
While boasting considerable experience with the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, with his most recent outing coming at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Fassler admitted he had to take a different approach to the session in order to not go over the edge.
“It’s not like a European race [track] where you start over the limit and go backwards because of all the runoffs here, you have to find your limits,” he said.
“If you overdo it a little bit, then you are off and it penalizes you for the rest of the event.
“I tried to take my time and get a rhythm and improve myself lap by lap.
“At the moment I know the Corvette pretty well. It’s just to find the trust in what you can do in these kind of corners and at what speed. I have to get there a little bit but it will be OK.”
Fassler Hoping for “Turnaround” in Luck for No. 4 Crew
Fassler said he’s hoping to help turn around the No. 4 car’s luck around following a torrid first half of the year, that’s been highlighted by race-ending accidents at Le Mans and Watkins Glen.
“The bad luck should end once and I hope it’s now the turnaround. It’s difficult to say beforehand,” he said.
“But I think everyone on the team have worked hard to get back on the race luck you need to be back on the podium or maybe fight for the win.
“This is for sure what we’re aiming for. The spirit is still here; everyone is motivated. That’s a big advantage from Corvette. Even if there is some rough time, the motivation and focus still stays high.”