ALMS – Marino Franchitti Joins Highcroft, Bummer for Mazda.

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Autoweek Magazine announced today that Marino Franchitti has signed with Highcroft Racing and joins David Brabham and Simon Pagenaud as their third LMP driver for 2010. Marino had been with the Dyson team driving the Mazda powered Lola coupe for the past two seasons, but with Dyson’s 2010 plans still not completed with regards to running a second car and the 12 Hours of Sebring not too far away, Franchitti opted for a part-time ride with Highcroft as a third driver in the longer endurance races on the ALMS calender, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Petit Le Mans, and he will also run at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Bit of irony there, eh? Perhaps the real selling point here is the potential for joining the Highcroft team at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The opportunity to compete in that epic race is enough to attract just about any race car driver, and Marino is certainly not immune to its lure. This won’t be the first time Marino has driven the Acura LMP2 car, however. Before his two seasons with Dyson, he drive the Acura very competitively for the Andretti-Green Racing squad.

“I loved that car and had a lot of fun with it,” he said. “It will be like catching up with an old friend.” —

As a Mazda fan, its saddens me to see the Dyson squad struggling to field their second car, but at least Marino Franchitti will land on his feet. He’s a great driver, and will be an excellent addition to the Highcroft squad.

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