Marino Franchitti Added to Andretti Green Lineup for XM Satellite Radio Acura ALMS Car
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 12, 2006) - Andretti Green Racing announced today that it has signed Scotsman Marino Franchitti to the driver lineup for its XM Satellite Radio-sponsored Acura Courage LC75 LMP2 entry in the 2007 American Le Mans Series (ALMS).
Franchitti, 28 and the younger brother of Andretti Green driver Dario Franchitti, has spent the past six years driving in various sports car-related series. In 2006 he competed in the ALMS where he placed second in the GT2 class at Petit Le Mans; the Grand Am Rolex Series where he piloted a Riley Pontiac Mk IX; and while competing in other international racing series he earned a podium finish at the Spa 24 Hour race as well as a race win at Adria while driving for Scuderia Ecosse.
Among his highlights in 2005 was an appearance as a works' driver for Panoz at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2004 he captured pole position in the LMP2 category at the ALMS 12 Hours of Sebring and in 2001, his first season of professional racing, he earned eight victories en route to the British GTO Championship.
A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Franchitti will join fellow XM Satellite Radio driver Bryan Herta in AGR's Acura Courage LMP2 entry. The new ALMS entry features the first racing engine completely designed and developed in-house by Honda's racing subsidiary Honda Performance Development (HPD) of Santa Clarita, Calif.
MARINO FRANCHITTI, XM SATELLITE RADIO ACURA COURAGE
"This is certainly the biggest thing to happen to my career. I have to thank (AGR owners) Michael Andretti, Kim Green, Kevin Savoree and Robert Clarke (President, HPD) for giving me this opportunity. I'm looking forward to joining AGR. It is a family that I'm very accustomed to having been around for nearly 10 years and there are a lot of familiar faces. XM Satellite Radio is a great sponsor and to have the backing of Acura is unbelievable. They bring a lot of expertise and drive for victories, and I look forward to helping them achieve their first ALMS victory.
"I'm looking forward to working with Bryan (Herta). He has a tremendous amount of experience from both open-wheel racing as well as sports cars and I plan to learn all I can from him. Overall, we have a very solid team and I look forward to developing and putting the package on-track and seeing where we stand."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI, CHAIRMAN, ANDRETTI GREEN RACING
"I'm excited to be able to give Marino the opportunity to join our driver lineup. His background is virtually all in sports cars and he should be a big plus in the development of our ALMS program. He has shown the ability to run up front and just needs an opportunity like this to show what he is capable of doing. The combination of Marino and Bryan Herta will help give us a very strong lineup as we enter our first season in ALMS."