Marino Franchitti looking to return full-time to American Sports Car racing


Marino Franchitti is looking to return full-time to American Sports Car racing - Credit: Richard Dole/LAT Images, courtesy of IMSA

Marino Franchitti is hopeful to return to a full-time drive in the United States, with the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship his main aim, although he is hopeful of something sooner.

The British racer will be racing in the upcoming Sebring 12 Hours in the #70 RT24-P Mazda alongside Joel Miller and Tom Long at the beginning of March, but the thirty-eight-year-old is hopeful of returning to full-time racing in the United States, a place he feels more at home at than he does back in Europe.

“It feels like coming home,” said Franchitti on Motorsport.com. “Although I’m a European driver, I’m an American racer. I spent so many years racing over here, that to be away from it felt very strange and to be back feels really, really nice. It’s great to see so many old friends and it’s just nice to be back on track here at Sebring.

“It’s always been a special place for me. We’ve had some good results over the years, so it’s nice to come back. It’s such a challenging track. I’m definitely keen to be back here racing in America full-time. I don’t think that’s going to happen this year, but definitely something I’m looking to do.”

Franchitti previously raced in the WeatherTech Championship back in 2014, but the series has evolved since then, and he enjoyed getting in the Mazda car at Sebring ahead of his outing with his new team.

“Obviously, since the last time I competed in the series, the classes have evolved… and we now have one top combined class with the Dpis,” said Franchitti.

“They’re just as good as they look. When you’re working with a new car as we are here at Mazda, it’s really cool to get out there and to explore it. The car has not done a massive amount of testing, although it raced at Daytona. Testing and development is something I love doing. It’s just been a lot of fun.”