FRANCHITTI: LE MANS MEANS EVERYTHING TO ME Trying to give Highcroft a debut victory in world's toughest race Marino Franchitti is a driven man, no question about it. But there is one event that holds his attention like no other. "Le Mans...
FRANCHITTI: LE MANS MEANS EVERYTHING TO ME
Trying to give Highcroft a debut victory in world's toughest race
Marino Franchitti is a driven man, no question about it. But there is one event that holds his attention like no other.
"Le Mans means everything to me," he said only days before saddling up for Highcroft Racing in the world's most demanding race. "My ultimate goal has been to compete there and win overall. Hopefully we can put in a good show in the LMP2 class this year.
"My mom for Christmas one year gave me all the Le Mans highlights from the 1980s, and I've been watching those the last couple of years," he added. "You get to 1985 and '86, and that's when I really became aware of sports cars and Derek Bell, who was my hero."
It's no coincidence that Franchitti and Highcroft - owned by Duncan Dayton - both share the same passion for Le Mans. Focus and preparation also are common traits. And this is the first go for Franchitti in a prototype at Le Mans; Highcroft is racing in France for the first time but is the favorite to win the P2 class. He'll partner with David Brabham and Marco Werner in Highcroft's HPD ARX-01c that is on a two-race winning streak in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.
"It's our first year and we're not getting ahead of ourselves," Franchitti said. "Our main aim is to learn - for Highcroft Racing and the drivers. If we get to the end in that state, I think we'll be OK. We just need to do what Highcroft does best. I don't think we can exaggerate the amount of hours our guys have put in to get ready for this. No holidays, no nothing. They've been flat out and outstanding."
A select group of Series drivers and teams will compete at the 78th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The world's greatest motor race is set for June 12-13 from the famed Circuit de la Sarthe in France. SPEED will broadcast the event live with flag-to-flag coverage available on radiolemans.com.
The next race for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix. The two-hour, 45-minute race is set for 2:05 p.m. MT on Sunday, July 11 from Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. SPEED will air the race same-day at 4 p.m. ET. Live radio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche - a production of Radio Show Limited - as well as Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 242. Visit the Series' schedule page for ticket and accommodation information. Live Timing and Scoring, track schedule, entry list and much, much more will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.