Set close to the small township of Bowmanville in Ontario, Mosport Park is without doubt the favourite road course of the majority of drivers that compete in the ALMS. The fast flowing circuit where some of the top LMP1 category cars reach speeds...
Set close to the small township of Bowmanville in Ontario, Mosport Park is without doubt the favourite road course of the majority of drivers that compete in the ALMS. The fast flowing circuit where some of the top LMP1 category cars reach speeds in excess of 190mph, was to literally throw up some of it's own surprises over the race weekend when certain areas of the track's surface broke up under the high level of downforce created by some of the competing prototype category cars. One practice session had to be curtailed whilst repairs were carried out and the prototype qualifying was also delayed. However that did not deter Marino Franchitti in his #20 Dyson Racing LMP2 Porsche Spyder who managed to outpace the team's sister car and set a 1:05.16, placing him seventh in class and ninth overall with an average speed of nearly 136mph over the 2.459 mile course. Marino's time was eight-tenths quicker than last year's LMP2 pole and just four thousands of a second off the time set by the factory Porsche Spyder of Sascha Maassen who qualified eighth overall in his Spyder fitted with the newly developed Porsche engine, a version of which Marino should enjoy at the next race when it's fitted into his Dyson Spyder. Once again qualifying was extremely close with the top 7 places in LMP2 being separated by only eight-tenths of a second!
Rain was threatened for the race, but other than a short shower just prior to the pre-race ceremonies, the afternoon stayed dry despite the black clouds that hung overhead. Marino started the race in the #20 car, but was unable to set the times he had managed in practice or qualifying preventing him from making progress through the cars ahead of him. It transpired that the front tyres were not coming up to pressure in the different ambient conditions that the teams were experiencing in the race. "I just couldn't get enough front grip at all" said Marino after the race, " I radioed to my engineer and told him the problem I was having which allowed the team to make an adjustment on the pressures of the second set of tyres and that really improved the car ".
After almost 45 minutes came the first yellow caution, Marino pitted, was refuelled and took on new tyres before being despatched back out on track by his crew. The sister car also pitted, and Guy Smith took over the wheel from Chris Dyson. At the restart Marino not only managed to keep Guy behind him, but also managed to pull out a gap, but then a second caution a further 45 minutes later once again bunched up the field. This time Marino pitted and handed the #20 car over to his co-driver, Butch Leitzinger, he could then only wait to see how the rest of the race would play itself out.
There were no further incidents and Marino's car was to finish tenth overall and eighth in LMP2 class. "I think frustration most aptly sums up our race here today" said Marino somewhat despondently. "I pushed as hard as I could during my first stint, but made no headway whatsoever which was disappointing as we needed to finish well in order to accumulate more points in the Driver standings. I can't wait for the new engine which should be with us next week in Detroit. The Belle Isle street course produces some close racing so any additional power under those circumstances will be a great advantage", added Marino.
US Mob: + 19546149836 -credit: marinofranchitti.com