Marino Franchitti delighted with Daytona Test

The No. 2 Howard-Boss run CITGO Crawford Pontiac Daytona Prototype with Marino and Dario Franchitti, Dan Wheldon and Milka Dunno at the helm finished the 3-day Official Daytona Test in a very impressive 8th place overall yesterday afternoon with a time of 1:48.496. Their sister cars, the No. 20 with Andy Wallace, Jan Lammers and Tony Stewart finished 3rd with a 1:47.253, while the No. 4 car with Butch Leitzinger, Elliott Forbes-Robinson and Jimmie Johnson behind the wheel finished 13th with a best time of 1:49.082.

"It was nice to catch up with so many old friends, but I guess my over-riding joy of the whole weekend had to be that my brother and I finally got to drive together. We've been trying to make it happen for 4 years, and now finally we're here!" said a happy and contented Marino yesterday evening. He added "having both driven the car in the first session on Friday morning, we had a wee moment together in pit lane which was quite special".

Of the car's performance Marino said "It improved steadily over the 3 days, and with all four of us getting on so well, and Andy, Butch and Elliott helping us out with all their past experience, it went fine." He went on, "debriefing with Dario was kind of cool too because we both had pretty much the same to say, and felt the same things with the car, so I was happy about that".

As with any new team organisation and drivers getting used to the car, there were set-up issues and other little things that had to be sorted out on the No. 2 car, so Marino finished up in the last session on Sunday afternoon doing a stint in the No. 4 sister car which brought his overall lap tally over the 3 days to 23 laps. "I'm really looking forward to the race" he said, "and all in all it's looking pretty good right now - and that's what counts....."

The green flag drops on the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona on Saturday 5th February at 12 noon EST, and I look forward to reporting back to you after the finish.