Following Patron Highcroft Racing’s announcement last month of Marino Franchitti’s signing for the 2010 season, the team have been present at Sebring’s International Raceway in Florida for the last two days participating at the annual ALMS Winter Test.
Together with his two new teammates, David Brabham and Simon Pagenaud, Marino has been putting the recently upgraded LMP2 Honda Performance Development factory backed ARX-01c chassis through its paces around the historic 3.7 mile circuit in its preparation for the 58th running of the 12 hour race next month.
The team completed a total of 202 laps over the two days with each day being split into two 4-hour sessions. In warm and humid Florida conditions all three drivers took their turns behind the wheel of the No. 1 Patron Highcroft car, and the fastest time came in this morning’s session when Marino set a lap time of 1:48.153.
The first round of the ALMS 2010 season begins with the 12 Hours of Sebring at the Sebring International Raceway on Saturday, 20th March.
“Having raced the LMP2 Acura chassis in the ALMS back in 2007, it was a bit like being reunited with an old friend” said Marino yesterday. “It important to see what the final regulations will do to the LMP category for the season, but for Sebring we have to concentrate on the LMP2 cars, and clearly the Porsche Spyder and Mazda Lola will be our toughest competitors”.
“It was a fantastic test for the Patron Highcroft team. We worked through a wide ranging programme that gave us a huge amount of information which will help us finalize our set up for the race; we also managed to be fastest in class while doing that which was cool. My team mates David and Simon and I were all happy with the car so we can’t wait for the race, hopefully we can start the season with a victory which would be the perfect thank you to our crew who are working flat out to give us the best chance to achieve that.”
Source ALMS © RIF