Long Beach: Marino Franchitti race report

Riding on the back of such a strong performance in St. Petersburg, Marino was hoping that the shoreline circuit of Long Beach in sunny California would set the scene for Dyson Racing's next podium opportunity, but both the ...

Riding on the back of such a strong performance in St. Petersburg, Marino was hoping that the shoreline circuit of Long Beach in sunny California would set the scene for Dyson Racing's next podium opportunity, but both the #16 and #20 Porsche RS Spyders found it difficult to recapture the pace they had shown in the first two rounds of the 2008 ALMS Series.

Time spent on track was minimal; Friday morning only gave the teams a 40 minute practice session before qualifying in the afternoon. Butch Leitzinger qualified the #20 Dyson Porsche Spyder setting a time of 1:13.050, fractionally slower than their sister car, but a full 1.7 seconds off the pole setting Porsche Spyder of Penske Racing, placing the #20 car 9th overall on the start grid.

Marino started the race. "It's a really difficult start here because there's so little time to get the cars side by side through the tight final turn and it makes it impossible to take advantage of any mistakes ahead of you. Being back on the fifth row of the grid I was more concerned in holding my position especially with an LMP1 directly behind me" said Marino.

And hold position was exactly what Marino did until the LMP1 of John Field made an optimistic pass, which came to no avail when he ran off course a few laps later. Marino followed the sister car, driven by Chris Dyson, up to the changeover, and a good pit stop by his crew saw Butch Leitzinger leapfrog the sister car in the pits and a good steady drive by Butch brought the car home in 7th place overall, and fifth in LMP2 class. "It was good to finish because it's so easy to get caught up in other people's accidents on streets circuits, but it's also frustrating knowing that we could have done so much better. We now need to carefully analyse where we went wrong, learn from it, and move on to our next challenge in Salt Lake City in four weeks' time. I really can't wait to get back in the car and hopefully we can be back to the competitive form we showed in Sebring and St. Pete".

The fourth round of the American Le Mans Series will be held at Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah, on Sunday, 18th May, 2008.

-credit: www.marinofranchitti.com

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Marino Franchitti
Teams Team Penske , Dyson Racing