Herta, Marino Franchitti Score Runner-Up Finish in XM Satellite Radio Acura at Houston HOUSTON, Texas (April 21, 2007) -- Bryan Herta and Marino Franchitti, co-drivers of the ...
Herta, Marino Franchitti Score Runner-Up Finish in XM Satellite Radio Acura at Houston
HOUSTON, Texas (April 21, 2007) -- Bryan Herta and Marino Franchitti, co-drivers of the #26 XM Satellite Radio Acura, started fifth overall, but worked their way to within one position of another ALMS victory before settling for second in Saturday's running of the Lone Star Grand Prix.
Franchitti opened the race for the team and then turned the driving duties over to Herta, who tried tirelessly to get by the eventual race-winning LMP2 Porsche entry over the final eight minutes of the 2 hour, 45-minute race. Herta cut down a 5.9-second deficit over the course of 22 minutes after a late restart and then pressured Timo Bernhard lap after lap to the finish, all while defending the runner-up spot from a hard-charging Audi entry driver by Rinaldo Capello.
Saturday's result was the best finish for the XM Acura team since winning the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring.
The next race on the American Le Mans Series schedule is the Utah Grand Prix on May 19, from the 4.5-mile, 24-turn circuit at Miller Motorsports Park. CBS Sports will provide television coverage on a tape-delayed basis beginning at 1 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, May 20.
Bryan Herta, #26 XM Satellite Radio Acura:
"That was lot of work out there. I was able to get close to the Porsche (No. 7) for the lead. But getting close and passing are two different things. The XM Acura was a very good car today. We didn't change tires on the last pit stop and the hot tires picked up some rubber on the yellow flag laps. So I wasn't able to get a good restart. Finally when the tires came back in, we had a rocket ship. The Michelins had a lot of life left in them. The car was fast and we raced right to the front. We fought our way back from starting fifth and Marino had a lot of traffic to deal with early in the race. He did a good job to get through the lapped cars. Today's race was a good one for the XM Acura team. They knew we were here in Houston."
Marino Franchitti, #26 XM Satellite Radio Acura:
"Our XM car was fantastic today. It was much better on our own rather than in traffic. But the Acura felt very good. The grip level of the track was better but the track is still very bumpy. You get knocked around inside the car so much here. It is so physical on a driver. The traffic didn't flow very good for me out there. I was right there when the No. 61 spun and then with one of the Panoz cars. I was able to get a rhythm in the middle of the stint and I was able get back up towards the leaders.
"Bryan ran a great race today. The XM machine was so good all day and Bryan got into position to race the Porsche heads up. This is a good race for our team as we lead into the summer months of racing."