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Marino Franchitti to pilot Audi at VIR GT race

Marino Franchitti to pilot third Champion Audi S4 at Virginia Speed GT finale. POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (October 16, 2002) -- Marino Franchitti is to follow in fellow Scotsman Allan McNish's wheeltracks and drive an Audi in America. The 24-year-old...

Marino Franchitti to pilot third Champion Audi S4 at Virginia Speed GT finale.

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (October 16, 2002) -- Marino Franchitti is to follow in fellow Scotsman Allan McNish's wheeltracks and drive an Audi in America. The 24-year-old Broxburn-born driver who recently moved to Bathgate, West Lothian, will drive a British-designed and built Audi S4 quattro"Competition" in the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship.

Franchitti, the younger brother of recent CART race winner Dario, will race the 150mph four-wheel-drive Audi alongside Champion Racing's regular drivers, reigning World Challenge champion Michael Galati, an American who currently leads this year's series, and five-times Le Mans 24 Hour race winner Derek Bell. He will pilot the No. 3 entry, driven in the two most recent races by young American Paul Edwards.

"I briefly drove the Audi at Sebring in March and the Champion team suggested they'd like me to race it," said Franchitti."I tested the S4 for a second time at the Virginia International Raceway [in July]. The Audi has masses of power and the' normal' road tires make it a real challenge to drive. I was very happy afterwards because I was matching Galati's times on my first visit to the Virginia track. I'm really looking forward to racing it."

Franchitti will contest the final round of the series at Virginia on October 25-27. Marino, who won the Scottish Open Kart Championship in 1988 and the Scottish Pro-Kart title in' 93, is the reigning British GTO Champion and has spent this year racing in America in the American Le Mans Series.

The unique four-wheel-drive Audi is an amalgamation of the road-going Audi S4 quattro saloon and Audi RS 4 Avant quattro. The RS 4's 2.7-litre, 30-valve V6 engine is only mildly boosted producing around 450bhp compared to the road-going RS 4's 380bhp.

For more information on Champion Racing, please visit www.championracing.net. For more information on the SPEED World Challenge, please visit www.world-challenge.com.

-scca pro racing-

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Series PWC
Drivers Allan McNish , Marino Franchitti , Derek Bell