Franchitti notches ALMS podium

Bathgate’s Marino Franchitti notched his second successive podium in the American Le Mans Series when he finished third in the LMP2 class of the Grand Prix of Long Beach in California.

But the 30-year-old Scot, partnered in the two-hour race by American Butch Leitzinger, twice had to wrestle with his seatbelt after the left shoulder strap worked its way loose.

“Believe me, it’s not ideal trying to re-strap your seatbelt at over 120mph during a race,” admitted Franchitti, whose Dyson-Mazda also suffered a lack of temperature in the new tyres which had been fitted during the compulsory driver change.

“The team has made huge progress since the opening round in Florida. We certainly had a faster car this weekend; it’s just a pity that the new tyres took so long to come up to temperature. Still, we had a good run and scored some good championship points.”

Franchitti, who finished fifth overall, was just behind team-mates Chris Dyson and Guy Smith, and LMP2 winners, Mexicans Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz in their Acura. 

The race was won by Brazilian Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud who beat fellow LMP1 Acura duo, American Scott Sharp and Aussie David Brabham by just 1.016s.


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