CITGO Racing to Compete on the Streets of Long Beach Drivers Milka Duno and Marino Franchitti Look Forward to the Challenge April 4, 2006, Los Angeles, CA...CITGO Racing drivers Milka Duno and Marino Franchitti will compete in a 90-minute race...
CITGO Racing to Compete on the Streets of Long Beach
Drivers Milka Duno and Marino Franchitti Look Forward to the Challenge
April 4, 2006, Los Angeles, CA...CITGO Racing drivers Milka Duno and Marino Franchitti will compete in a 90-minute race on a closed circuit carved from the streets of downtown Long Beach, CA in the Grand American Challenge of Long Beach - the first-ever Daytona Prototype street race - on Saturday, April 8, 2006. This will also mark the first appearance of the Rolex Series as part of the legendary Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Milka, Marino and the CITGO Racing team will face two unique challenges at this popular event; setting up and maximizing their #11 CITGO Pontiac Riley for the special demands of the street course surfaces and configuration, as well as creating new race strategy for a race lasting only 90 minutes - as most Rolex Series races are 2-hour, 45-minute competitions - at minimum. The 1.968 mile street circuit boasts a 3600-foot-long straight using Shoreline Drive - right alongside the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Milka will bring some previous experience on the street circuit with her to this race. In 2003, Milka was invited as a "pro" driver to compete in the "Pro/Celebrity Race" which is a special ten-lap feature race as part of the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Milka was the first Latina to receive this honor. As one of the pro drivers Milka competed against celebrity drivers such as Angie Everhart (model/actress), Jesse James (Monster Garage), two-time Olympic medalist skier Picabo Street and astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Now in its 32nd year, the event raises funds for "Racing for Kids" - a national organization that benefits children's hospitals in Southern California.
"This competition will be fierce and from green flag to checkered flag and the pace will be unbelievable - especially due to the shortened format. Combine that with the challenges of a tight street course - and I'm sure there will be a lot of very close and exciting race action at top speeds. This will be the first time that the Daytona Prototypes will compete on a street course and Marino and I and the CITGO Racing Team will be doing our best to find the optimum set-up and develop the best strategy that will deliver a good result. I hope to stop by and say hello to all the great people that put on the Pro/Celebrity race. It was a great experience with a lot of camaraderie - and all for such a worthy cause."
"We don't have a lot of time to learn the track at Long Beach or get the car hooked up, so we're going to have to be on the ball and do our homework before we get to there and make sure we maximize the time we have on the track before qualifying. Street circuits are always 'blind' because of the walls, so it's very important to find your line through the corner before you even run on the track. I know Milka has run at Long Beach before so I shall be drawing on her experience too".
The Grand American Challenge of Long Beach is the fourth round of the fifteen round 2006 Rolex Sports Car Series season. The Saturday race will start at 4:00PM PDT and will be televised tape-delayed on the SPEED Channel beginning at 6:00PM PDT. Live timing and scoring is available at www.grandamerican.com.
CITGO, based in Houston, Texas, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, refined waxes, asphalt and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information on CITGO visit www.citgo.com.
Milka is currently featured in Pontiac's largest ever Spanish language advertising campaign. Pontiac is a division of General Motors Corporation (NYSE: GM) and markets the Bonneville, GTO, Grand Prix, Grand Am, G6, Vibe and Sunfire. In 2003, Pontiac sold more than 475,000 vehicles, ranking third among GM divisions in total sales. 2004/2005 will see Pontiac launch an exciting new range of vehicles including the Montana SV6, G6 coupe, G6 convertible and the Solstice roadster. More information on Pontiac and its products can be found at www.pontiac.com. Information in Spanish can be found at www.pontiac.com/sp.
Milka is also the Latin American spokesperson for Sony's Xplod car audio brand. Sony Corporation of America is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications, and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, motion picture, television, computer entertainment, and online businesses make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $67 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2005. You may visit the Sony Corporation website at www.sony.net/. Sony Latin America has a regional office in Miami, Florida, and subsidiaries in numerous countries, including Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. You may visit the Sony Latin America website at www.sony-latin.com/index_.crp