Franchitti’s fast start at Sebring

Bathgate’s Marino Franchitti made an instant impact with his new Highcroft Racing team when he set the fastest LMP2 time at the Sebring winter test in his Honda Acura ARX-01c.

The 30-year-old Scot lapped the bumpy 3.7-mile Florida circuit in 1m48.263s to top the timesheets after the official two-day test ahead of the opening round of the American Le Mans Series, the Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 20.

“Yeh, I’m happy with that,” Franchitti, who scored two LMP2 victories for Dyson Racing in the ALMS last season, admitted today. “It’s been a very positive couple of days for everybody in the team and we’re happy the way things have gone.

“i know it was my first time with the Highcroft team, but having raced the LMP2 Acura chassis in the ALMS back in 2007 it was a bit like being reunited with an old friend.

“We worked through a wide ranging programme that gave us a huge amount of information which will help finalise our set-up for the race. Getting fastest lap in our class, and third overall, was pretty cool.”

Franchitti, second in the 12-hour race two years ago, will be partnered by Aussie David Brabham and Frenchman Simon Pagenaud. In the test the Highcroft car, which won the ALMS title last year, was only pipped by the two more powerful LMP1 teams.

Fastest was the Aston Martin of Harold Primat. The Frenchman clocked a best of 1m46.894s before he crashed heavily, badly damaging the car. Primat was sent to hospital for precautionary checks.


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