#2 CITGO Racing Team Ready for Rolex 24 Challeng Duno, Franchittis, Wheldon Team for Endurance Race
Denver, NC (January 31, 2005) -- When the green flag waves at noon on February 5th to start the Rolex 24 At Daytona at Daytona International Speedway, the #2 CITGO Racing Team will be ready for the challenge with a star studded roster of drivers. And, this talented quartet has high expectations in one of the world's premiere sports car events.
Milka Duno, who teamed with Andy Wallace to win twice in 2004, will team with IRL IndyCar Series drivers Dario Franchitti and Dan Wheldon and Marino Franchitti, younger brother of Dario, in the #2 CITGO Pontiac Crawford for the 43rd-annual Rolex 24 At Daytona. The team tested at Daytona in early January, and is excited about their upcoming challenge.
"The testing sessions were my first opportunity to race with Dario, Marino, and Dan -- although I'm well aware of their racing skills," Duno commented. "The test sessions gave me a chance to witness their competitive drive first-hand and I can tell you that they are extremely competitive and will do everything they can to win the Rolex 24. With these three great drivers as my teammates, I truly feel that we have an excellent opportunity for a great result."
"Our CITGO Pontiac Crawford was really good in testing," Indy Racing League competitor Dario Franchitti stated. "The team has really worked hard, and I'm looking forward to racing with Dan, Milka, and, of course my brother Marino." Dario turned the eighth fastest overall lap during the three-day test session, 1 minute 48.498 seconds, to lead the #2 CITGO team.
"This is a fantastic team to be a part of," Wheldon said. "It's completely different from what I'm used to, but I was getting quicker every time I got into the car. This will be the first time in this type car with a roof over my head, so it takes a little time to get use to. I want to thank everyone for making me feel welcome and making the transition easier than it would have been with anyone else. I can't wait for the race."
The Rolex 24 At Daytona will also provide a milestone in the racing careers of Dario and Marino Franchitti. Despite their vast experience in various forms of motorsports, the 43rd Rolex 24 At Daytona will be the first time that the brothers have raced together on the same team.
Duno, who will compete in the Rolex Series fulltime in 2005, became the first woman to win a Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race and the first woman to win overall a major international sports car race in North America with her victory in the Grand Prix of Miami.
"I'm very excited for the start of the 2005 season and to be racing for a second straight season with CITGO, Andy Wallace, and Howard Motorsports," Duno added. "We're coming off a very good season. The opportunity to race again with the same elements in place I believe will give us a valuable advantage this season. We gained a lot of experience working together last year and coming together as a team. I'm looking forward to a great 2005."
But, first comes the challenge of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Duno, Wheldon, and the Franchittis have each made their mark in motorsports. Now, combining their overall talent and knowledge of road racing makes this quartet a team to watch in one of the world's most famous endurance races.
Duno, Wheldon, and the Franchittis will also have CITGO Racing teammates competing in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The #20 CITGO Pontiac Crawford will have the formidable team of Andy Wallace, Jan Lammers, and NASCAR star Tony Stewart sharing the driving duties for the twice around the clock event.
The Rolex 24 At Daytona will start at noon on Saturday, February 5th at the Daytona International Speedway. Speed Channel will provide fourteen hours of live coverage of the first race on the fourteen event Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series schedule for 2005.
CITGO, based in Houston, Texas, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, refined waxes, asphalt and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information on CITGO visit www.citgo.com.
For additional information on Duno and her full season teammate Andy Wallace please visit www.milkaduno.com or www.andywallace.com, respectively. For more information on the Rolex Sports Car Series log on to www.grandamerican.com.