Paul Ricard: Marino Franchitti race report

Marino took his second podium with team Scuderia Ecosse when Chris Niarchos asked him to take his seat in the FIA GT round at Paul Ricard in France at the weekend. Marino previously raced with the team at the Spa 24 Hours at the end of last...

Marino took his second podium with team Scuderia Ecosse when Chris Niarchos asked him to take his seat in the FIA GT round at Paul Ricard in France at the weekend.

Marino previously raced with the team at the Spa 24 Hours at the end of last month coming 3rd in the No. 62 car along with co-drivers Andrew Kirkaldy and Nathan Kinch. In Paul Ricard Marino partnered Tim Mullen in the sister car, the no. 63 Ferrari 430.

Tim qualified the car second in the GT2 category just two-tenths behind the No. 62 sister car. Unbeknown at the time, the race was to be run just as close.

The race began with Kirkaldy behind the wheel of the no. 62 car closely chased by Tim Mullen in the no. 63 car. Tim sat on the bumper of Andrew Kirkaldy throughout his whole stint. At the first pit stop Nathan Kinch took over from Andrew and Marino took the wheel of the no. 63 Ferrari and raced off in hot pursuit of Nathan. It wasn't long before Marino was right up behind Nathan's bumper having taken the opportunity to close-up after the pitstop when Nathan ran wide. By the end of the same lap Marino had passed Nathan and was well on his way. Nathan tried to chase Marino down for the remainder of the stint, but the team pitted the no. 62 car first which was to give the car the edge over it's sister rival. For the final stint with Andrew and Tim back at the wheels of their respective Ferrari 430's the two cars remained locked in battle for the remainder of the race. So much so that when the no. 62 and 63 Ferrari's crossed the line 1st and 2nd in GT2 respectively, Tim Mullen was just one second behind Andrew Kirkaldy.

"It was a great result for the team as we achieved our target of taking as many points as possible off the factory AF Corse cars" said a delighted Marino. "Both our cars did a great job and if felt good to get back on the podium again so soon after Spa. I lead my whole stint so I was pleased about that and I want to thank Chris again for letting me take his seat this weekend - it was fun!"

Despite having only run 2 races with the Scuderia Ecosse team this season, Marino is currently lying 13th in the FIA GT driver standings.

Marino's next race will see him take the "gentlemanly approach" when he competes at the Goodwood Revival event in 2 weeks' time. He will be driving a British Leyland Riley 1.5 in the Saloon Car category, and Marino is really looking forward to it. "I had so much fun in the Mini Cooper last year, I just had to do it again," said Marino, "But I don't know which is going to be the most difficult, racing the Riley or playing cricket in the Charity Match! We don't play much cricket up in Scotland and I personally have never played before, but it's going to be a great laugh with Dickie Attwood, Derek Bell, Alan Jones and Bobby Rahal amongst others in the squad".

Next month Marino will compete in his fourth 24 Hour race when he once again takes to the wheel of the Porsche GT3 Cup car in the Britcar 24 Hours race at Silverstone. Marino will be attempting to beat his 3rd overall placing of last year and will be co-driving once again with his team mates at the Nurburgring 24 Hours race, Bill Cameron and Barry Horne.

-credit: kwa

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Alan Jones , Marino Franchitti , Derek Bell , Nathan Kinch , Tim Mullen , Andrew Kirkaldy , Bill Cameron
Teams AF Corse