ANDRETTI, MONTAGNY IN AGR ACURA AT LIME ROCK Marco Andretti will return to the American Le Mans Series prototype ranks at Lime Rock Park in two weeks and team with Formula 1 talent Franck Montagny for Andretti Green Racing, the team announced ...
ANDRETTI, MONTAGNY IN AGR ACURA AT LIME ROCK
Marco Andretti will return to the American Le Mans Series prototype ranks at Lime Rock Park in two weeks and team with Formula 1 talent Franck Montagny for Andretti Green Racing, the team announced Thursday. Montagny will make his Series debut at the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix and will be the team's primary driver for the balance of the season in the Acura ARX-01b.
The 21-year-old Andretti was fantastic in his first Series race at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. He drove the first three stints for AGR, partially owned by father Michael, and moved from 12th overall to the lead in the opening two hours, the first time an Andretti led at Sebring since grandfather Mario in 1972. The Acura retired, however, after completing 287 laps due to overheating.
Marco Andretti will rack up the miles during the weekend. He also will compete at the IndyCar Series' Nashville, Tenn., round the same night as the Lime Rock race.
The Andretti name is steeped in sports car lore. Former F1 World Champion Mario Andretti, the patriarch of the family, made six starts at Sebring and won three times. He also won the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1972 and made four starts at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a runner-up finish in 1995. Throughout his stint in sports cars, he drove cars for Ford, Ferrari, Porsche, Courage and Panoz. He also teamed periodically with Michael, his oldest son.
Montagny is coming off a third-place podium finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Peugeot. The 30-year-old Frenchman has a decorated motorsport history that includes seven Formula 1 starts, all in 2006 with Super Aguri. He also served as a Formula 1 test driver and third driver with Renault and Jordan.
A veteran of six starts at Le Mans, he has been on the overall podium in his three most recent starts - this year with Peugeot, a runner-up finish in 2005 with Pescarolo and fourth in 2004 for ORECA. Montagny is a past champion of the World Series by Nissan with nine victories in 2003 and three in 2002. He also drove for the French A1GP team in the 2007-08 campaign and helped the team to a fourth-place result in the championship.
His most recent race in the US was a runner-up result in the final Champ Car World Series race at Long Beach in April. A variety of drivers will join him in the cockpit of the XM-sponsored Acura for the championship run in the remaining seven rounds of the American Le Mans Series season.
Montagny will help lead Andretti Green in LMP2 against one of the deepest and most competitive classes in the 10-year history of the American Le Mans Series. AGR is battling three other entries from Acura plus the Porsche RS Spyders of Penske Racing and Dyson Racing, along with B-K Motorsports' Mazda-powered Lola.
Andretti Green gave Acura an LMP2 victory in its debut race at Sebring in 2007.
The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix is race is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 12 at Lime Rock Park. SPEED will televise the race from noon to 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 13. XM Satellite Radio will air the event live on XM Sports Nation Channel 144. Additional live coverage from American Le Mans Radio and IMSA's Live Timing & Scoring also will be available at americanlemans.com.