Marino Franchitti takes the PC class win at Mid-Ohio

#52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca FLM09 Chevrolet: Marino Franchitti, Rudy Junco
#52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca FLM09 Chevrolet: Marino Franchitti, Rudy Junco

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

“All good things come in three’s” and for Marino this afternoon, they certainly did. But in fact it all started on Thursday when in his first practice session in the #52 PR1/Mathiasen LMPC car here at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, Marino set the fastest time with a lap of 1:16.862. Working together with new co-driver Rudy Junco, the car set-up came quickly for the pair, so much so that in the 20 minute qualifying session here yesterday, competing in elite LMPC company with fellow competitors Bruno Junqueira, fellow Scot Ryan Dalziel and Colin Braun, Marino put the #52 car on pole in his penultimate lap. However, just to reinforce the victory Marino started his “thrilling three” by finishing with another even quicker pole of 1:15.107.

The threat of rain never materialised today and the race got underway here at 1.05pm in intense heat with Rudy Junco at the wheel of the #52 car. Despite a short early caution period under yellow, the race continued without incident. Rudy finally handed over to Marino with an hour of the race remaining and Marino joined the track on lap 72 lying eighth overall in the 32 car strong field, and second in LMPC behind the lead car of Ryan Dalziel who had taken the wheel of his #06 car just two laps previously. Marino quickly got up to speed tracking the lap times of Ryan. The fastest lap in LMPC had been set earlier in the race by Colin Braun before he had a problem which put him off the track. Then on lap 95 Marino topped it setting a lap of 1:17.120. The gap between Marino and Ryan Dalziel in the lead LMPC car fluctuated around 20 seconds as the cars ran in and out of traffic, but Marino took every opportunity to close the gap, no more so than on lap 111 when he went even quicker setting ultimately the fastest race lap at 1:16.897.

Unbeknown to Marino the #06 car needed a splash of fuel to finish the race and with just two laps to go Ryan pitted which gave Marino, still in hot pursuit, the lead of LMPC. The team’s strategy of putting Marino into the car just 2 laps after the #06 car had paid off, and at the chequered flag Marino finished the race in sixth overall with a final lead gap in LMPC of 16.156 seconds.

“The perfect end to a perfect weekend”, said Marino after the race, “It’s been a pleasure working with Rudy and the PR1/Mathiasan team. Getting pole, fastest lap and race win, I couldn’t ask for more; I pushed all the way and the great strategy by the team allowed me not to have to refuel at the end, they did a great job”.

Source: Marino Franchitti Racing

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About this article
Series ALMS
Article type Race report
Tags franchitti, junco, mathiasen, oreca, pr1

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