Bathgate’s Dario Franchitti set the 11th-fastest time in testing as he prepared for his defence of the Daytona 24-Hours race. The 35-year-old Scot, who won the race last year, is looking for back-to-back victories with his Target Chip Ganassi team.
Franchitti, partnered by New Zealander Scott Dixon and American Alex Lloyd, clocked a best time of 1min 43.590secs, an average of 123.718mph in his Lexus-Riley Prototype. The Scot was just 1.83secs off the provisional pole time of Michael Valiante, who clocked 1:41.760s (125.943mph) in his Ford Riley.
“The team’s going for four in a row, so it should be pretty exciting,” Franchitti, who will contest the Daytona 24-Hours on January 24-25 before returning to IndyCars, said today.
“That’s an amazing statistic and it speaks volumes for the job this team does. The team has done a great job preparing the car, as usual, and it’s always exciting to come back to Daytona.
“It’s good to be in the car with Scott. We’ve raced against each other for a long time, so it’s nice to be in the same car now because it gives us a chance to work with each other. We’re up for the challenge.”
And while Wishaw’s Ryan Dalziel admitted to being “satisfied” with his first outing in the all-new Alegra Motorsport BMW-Riley Prototype after setting a fastest lap of 1:45.546s to be 17th, there was better news for another Scot Robin Liddell.
The Edinburgh racer posted the seventh-quickest time in the GT class to be 25th overall. Liddell, partnered by Jeff Bucknam and Andrew Davis in their Stevenson Pontiac GXP.R, stopped the clock in 1:53.374secs.