St. Pete: Marino Franchitti race report

After another stunning performance in qualifying yesterday here on the streets of St. Petersburg, when after only a handful of laps in practice, Marino placed the No.20 Dyson Porsche RS Spyder 5th on the 29-car grid and 4th in Class. All 4 cars ...

After another stunning performance in qualifying yesterday here on the streets of St. Petersburg, when after only a handful of laps in practice, Marino placed the No.20 Dyson Porsche RS Spyder 5th on the 29-car grid and 4th in Class. All 4 cars behind the pole sitting LMP1 Audi R10 TDI were separated by less than three-tenths of a second! "We have a very good race car," said Marino, "My Engineer and the Dyson Racing team have done a great job".

And how right he was. This weekend wearing a special Jim Clark replica helmet that Marino had commissioned to commemorate the 40th anniversary this coming Monday, 7th April, of the death of his life-long hero, the late, great, Jim Clark, it did not take Marino long to work his way up the grid to 3rd overall and 2nd in class, setting blistering lap times that not only matched, but frequently topped the lead LMP1 car. However, a crippling accident to the No.20 Dyson Racing Porsche RS Spyder meant his team- mate, Butch Leitzinger, would not take the chequered flag here on the streets of St. Petersburg today.

Marino takes up the story; "It was a disappointing end to a very promising day. Dyson Racing and Porsche Motorsport gave us a fantastic car; once I got the first few laps out of the way I was able to close on the lead Penske Porsche RS Spyder, driven by Timo Bernhard, which was very satisfying. But a late miscommunication on the radio meant from being 3rd overall, I pitted out of sequence under the yellow which lost us track position. But driving a great stint, Butch soon overcame the problem and got us back into a certain podium placing. The very disappointing end came just 10 minutes from the chequered flag when Butch was taken out by one of the Penske Porsches.

However, we take a lot of good away from here today based purely on our pace and performance over this weekend, and we look forward to picking up from where we left off when we race in Long Beach".

The American Le Mans Series takes to the streets once again in just two weeks time when Long Beach, California, plays host to the 3rd round of the ALMS on 18th/19th April.

-credit: www.marinofranchitti.com

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Jim Clark , Timo Bernhard , Marino Franchitti
Teams Dyson Racing