VIR: Citgo Racing preview

CITGO Racing's Next Stop - Virginia International Raceway Duno, Franchitti and team excited for first race with new chassis April 19, 2006, Los Angeles, CA...Milka Duno, co-driver Marino ...

CITGO Racing's Next Stop - Virginia International Raceway

Duno, Franchitti and team excited for first race with new chassis

April 19, 2006, Los Angeles, CA...Milka Duno, co-driver Marino Franchitti and the entire CITGO Racing crew are looking forward to their next race of the season - the VIR 400 - at Virginia International Raceway on Sunday, April 23. The team and drivers will arrive at the picturesque circuit with an all-new Riley chassis - chassis #025 to be exact.

This will be the third chassis of the new season for the drivers and crew. They started the season at the Rolex 24 At Daytona with one chassis, then contested the next three races in another chassis. While their results at the Rolex 24 were impressive, they didn't have the results at the following three races that they had hoped and worked so hard for.

The Sunday race at VIR gives Milka, Marino and the team their first opportunity of the season to compete with the newest and most-technologically advanced evolution of the championship-winning Riley chassis. In addition to the new chassis, the #11 CITGO Pontiac Riley will pull out of the pits and onto the 3.27-mile road course with a new engine management system, plus additional changes. The new chassis will give the team the security of competing with the same chassis for the rest of the season and the confidence of knowing that they have the most evolved Riley available.

Milka brings with her the good fortune of previously scoring two back-to-back podium visits at VIR in the Rolex Series Daytona Prototype class. She earned a second-place finish in 2004 and a third-place finish in 2005 at the Alton, VA circuit.

Milka Duno

"It will be great to arrive at VIR with the new chassis and I can't wait to experience its performance - especially on the high-speed sections. I'm very thankful that CITGO's support provides us with the opportunity to compete with the best equipment and I'm hoping that we can deliver a good result for them. The team has a lot of positive energy which I'm sure will only be increased with the arrival of the new chassis. While we have high hopes for this race with the new car, we'll be hitting the circuit pretty much straight from the "showroom floor" with no testing with it at all. We'll get a very limited shakedown of the car when we pick it up in Indianapolis - but then it's straight to its maiden race at VIR."

Marino Franchitti

"I am really excited about getting our new car for this race. The last couple of races have not gone the way we would have wished which has been frustrating, but we hope that VIR is going to be the turning point for us and we will be able to show that the speed we enjoyed at Daytona has returned."

Milka, Marino and the CITGO Racing team will participate in an official test day at VIR on Thursday and will have one "prototype only" practice and one combined practice session on Friday. Saturday will offer one combined practice session in the morning and qualifying will be in the early afternoon. There will be a final 30-minute practice session on race day morning.

The familiar 2-hour and 45-minute race format will return for this fifth race of the fourteen-race 2006 season and race action will begin at 1:00PM EDT on Sunday. Live television coverage begins at the same time on the SPEED Channel. 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 http://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

For additional information on Milka and Marino please visit www.milkaduno.com or www.marinofranchitti.com, respectively. For more information on the Rolex Sports Car Series log on to www.grandamerican.com.

-citgo/hc-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Milka Duno , Marino Franchitti