Bathgate’s Marino Franchitti was denied his second American Le Mans Series podium in succession when, just 10 minutes from the end of the two-and-a-half-hour race in St Petersburg, his Porsche was taken out by a rival.
The 29-year-old Scot had qualified his Dyson Porsche RS fifth on the 29-car grid, and fourth in class. Wearing a special Jim Clark replica helmet to commemorate the 40th anniversary today (Mon) of the Scot’s death, Franchitti battled his way through to third overall and second in class.
But within sight of the chequered flag, and having handed the car to his team-mate, Butch Leitzinger, the American was taken out of the race after it was hit by the rival Penske Porsche of Patrick Long.
“It was a disappointing end to a very promising day,” Franchitti said yesterday (Sun).
“We were on course for another podium after our second in the season’s opener in Sebring, but to lose out the way we did is hard to take.”
The race was won by the turbodiesel Audi of Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner who pipped the Penske Porsche of Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard.