Marino Gets The AGR Drive
Marino Franchitti has been confirmed today on the driving squad
for the new Acura-powered Courage LC75 run by Andretti Green Racing
in the ALMS in 2007.
is certainly the biggest thing to happen to my career,” says
the Scot. “I have to thank (AGR owners) Michael Andretti,
Kim Green, Kevin Savoree and Robert Clarke (President, HPD) for
giving me this opportunity. I'm looking forward to joining AGR.
It is a family that I'm very accustomed to having been around for
nearly 10 years and there are a lot of familiar faces. XM Satellite
Radio is a great sponsor and to have the backing of Acura is unbelievable.
They bring a lot of expertise and drive for victories, and I look
forward to helping them achieve their first ALMS victory.”
was already down to drive the Andretti Green Courage – which
just leaves the number of races that each driver will race in to
be confirmed. The team hasn’t so far indicated that Marino
Franchitti will drive for the full season. His brother Dario is
a potential / occasional driver for the ALMS branch of the team,
which will almost certainly need three drivers for at least Sebring
and Petit Le Mans.
Al Larsen at
Andretti Green racing clarifies the driver issue a little by explaining
that neither Marino's schedule, nor the identity of any other drivers,
have been finalized yet. "We believe to be within a few days
of that announcement, but we can't confirm the final piece of that
puzzle just yet."
“Marino’s background is virtually all
in sports cars and he should be a big plus in the development of
our ALMS program,” says Michael Andretti, the team’s
Chairman. “He has shown the ability to run up front and just
needs an opportunity like this to show what he is capable of doing.
The combination of Marino and Bryan Herta will help give us a very
strong lineup as we enter our first season in ALMS."
The Scot has
had an interesting and varied 2006, which looked as though it would
largely focus around a drive alongside Milka Duno, in the Citgo
Racing / SAMAX Daytona Prototype. That drive fizzled out though,
but Franchitti found some rewarding drives with Scuderia Ecosse
and Risi, finishing second at PLM and winning the FIA GT event at
Now he’s back in an open prototype, after
an overlong delay following what looked like a promising season
with Rand Racing in its B2K/40 Lola in Grand-Am in 2002. The team
owner pulled the plug on that one.
“Bryan has a tremendous amount of experience
from both open-wheel racing as well as sports cars and I plan to
learn all I can from him,” says the modest Franchitti. “Overall,
we have a very solid team and I look forward to developing and putting
the package on-track and seeing where we stand."