Franchitti joins Drayson for Le Mans
|By Steven English||Wednesday, April 8th 2009, 09:23 GMT|
Marino Franchitti will join Paul Drayson and Jonathan Cocker in their Drayson Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT2 in this year's Le Mans 24 Hours.
Franchitti, who races full time in the LMP2 class of the American Le Mans Series, will make his second appearance in the 24 Hours following his debut in a GT2 Panoz in 2005, and will be the only one of the Drayson trio with Le Mans experience.
"My main thought at the moment is excitement for the biggest sportscar race in the world," said Franchitti.
"Le Mans is everything to me - it's the reason I became a sportscar driver. When I was young, my hero was Derek Bell and I wanted to win Le Mans just like he had. I have imagined many times standing on that podium above a sea of people after the race and I hope one day to make that a reality."
With no Le Mans test day this year, the Drayson team will attend the Le Mans Series test at the Le Mans Bugatti circuit later this month, and also plans to hold a private 24-hour test at the Algarve circuit in Portugal to prepare its drivers for Le Mans.
"Audi has shown in the past few years that good preparation is the most important part of a successful bid to win Le Mans," said Franchitti. "Without the test day prior to the race, the time for a third driver to settle in is more compromised than in previous years.
"Drayson's program in the run-up to the event will mean that I'm completely at home by the time we get to race week and I think that gives us a big advantage over other teams."