Road Atlanta: Marino Franchitti preview

The Patron Highcroft Cockpit beckons for Marino at Petit Le Mans The first half of the 2010 American Le Mans season was busy for Marino, Winter Test, Sebring 12 Hours, Laguna Seca 6 Hours followed by the Le Mans 24 Hours, in total Marino has...

The Patron Highcroft Cockpit beckons for Marino at Petit Le Mans The first half of the 2010 American Le Mans season was busy for Marino, Winter Test, Sebring 12 Hours, Laguna Seca 6 Hours followed by the Le Mans 24 Hours, in total Marino has shared 42 hours of racing with his co- drivers along with various test, practice and qualifying sessions.

Despite tough competition Marino put the #1 LMP2 Patron Highcroft Racing HPD ARX-01c on pole in Sebring, and with co-drivers David (Brabham) and Simon (Pagenaud) went on to take the 2nd placed podium in the LMP2 category. However, in Laguna Seca the threesome demolished the opposition and won the 6 hour race overall.

Patron Highcroft Racing's debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been well documented, so close to a podium finish before succumbing to engine problems, and yet the Patron Highcroft car still managed to reach the chequered flag with Marino behind the wheel.

The second half of the ALMS season has also been busy for Marino, but out of the cockpit, attending all the races, team briefings and meetings as well as being actively involved in PR duties. Tomorrow, Thursday, 23rd September, will see Marino, along with other selected ALMS drivers, participating in a day- long event "Motorsports on Main" organised by Michelin in their North American home base of Greenville, South Carolina, ..

The Greenville event forms part of the attractions in the run-up to the season's finale. Petit Le Mans, the oldest event on the annual ALMS calendar, is a race of 1,000 miles or a maximum of 10 hours, and once again the cockpit beckons for Marino. The Highcroft team need only to complete 70% of the race to win the 2010 ALMS Championship title, a fact not lost on Marino.

"It's been a long summer since I last drove at Le Mans so I can't wait to get back in the Patron Highcroft car and help the team to try and win the ALMS championship" said Marino. "We don't underestimate how tough a job we have ahead of us, in a race as long as Petit we do more racing than some championships do in a year, but we know if we all do the job we are capable of, we can reach our goal. My team mates, Simon and David, have done a fantastic job this year and having personally won Petit last year, I really hope I get the chance to stand on top of the podium with them on Saturday night".

The green flag will drop to start the Petit Le Mans race on Saturday, 2nd October, at 11.15am. The race will be transmitted live on Speed TV or it can be followed via the ALMS website at www.americanlemans.com.

-source: www.marinofranchitti.com

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Series ALMS
Drivers Marino Franchitti