Sears Point: Marino Franchitti preview

Marino Franchitti will be competing at the 2nd Round of the ALMS Championship taking place at Sears Point over next weekend, 17-19 May. Marino will be partnering team owner and race driver, Kevin Buckler, in The Racer's Group 2002 spec No. 66 ...

Marino Franchitti will be competing at the 2nd Round of the ALMS Championship taking place at Sears Point over next weekend, 17-19 May.

Marino will be partnering team owner and race driver, Kevin Buckler, in The Racer's Group 2002 spec No. 66 Porsche GT3RS. "It will be fun to be back in a Porsche" said Marino, who won his British GTO Championship in a 2001Porsche GT3RS. "Same car, same Michelin tyres, it should seem very familiar, I just have to learn the track. Hopefully we can push the Alex Job cars; it would be nice to take a Porsche podium again".

After setting the quickest GT time during official training for the Daytona 24 Hours driving a Porsche GT3RS, Marino's last race in a Porsche was during the Daytona 24 hours itself when, whilst running on the same lead lap as The Racer Group's Porsche, which at the time was being driven by two of the Porsche works' drivers, Marino's J3 Racing Porsche GT3RS lost its flywheel at 2.00am. "That was a real shame, but I'm out to rectify that". Kevin's doing a great job, and I'm looking forward to driving with him. Sears is his home track, so I should be able to pick up some good tips".

The Racer's Group have just completed the Preliminary Test at Le Mans where their entry is being driven by Kevin Buckler and two of the Porsche works' drivers, Lucas Luhr and Timo Bernhard. The Race's Group Porsche, with Lucas Luhr at the wheel, set quickest GT time in Le Mans on Sunday.

On driving in the US, Marino was very relaxed, "The States is home-from-home for me, and I thoroughly enjoy racing here. The more race tracks I can compete on this year, the easier it will be in the future. My memory bank has taken in a few new deposits this year, Daytona, Sebring, Phoenix and now I'm looking forward to Sears Point, I understand it's a difficult track, but once conquered, I can begin working on my lap times".

Marino Franchitti's last race in the USA was in the Rand Racing Nissan Lola SRPII in which, on his prototype debut, Marino qualified on pole, took fastest lap in the race and won the SRPII class.

- Kaye Wilson

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Series ALMS
Drivers Lucas Luhr , Kevin Buckler , Timo Bernhard , Marino Franchitti