CITGO Racing Completes Official Testing for 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona
January 9, 2006.The No. 7 CITGO Pontiac-powered Riley Mk XI completed 1000 miles and four days of testing for this year's Rolex 24 At Daytona, including a private test at Moroso Motorsports Park in Jupiter, Fla., on Jan. 3, followed by the official three-day event test at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Jan. 5 to 7. Dario Franchitti posted the team's fastest lap of the official test - one minute 44.955 seconds on the 3.56-mile infield road course (122.109 mph) - good for 10th in the 30-car Daytona Prototype class. He is sharing Rolex 24 driving duty with Milka Duno, Marino Franchitti and Kevin McGarrity.
SAMAX Motorsport is preparing the CITGO Riley for the Rolex 24, with track action directed by race engineer John Bright and chief mechanic Robin Hayes.
Milka Duno "It was my first time with a Riley, but I'm very happy with the quick time that I already have with only a few laps in a new car. It's a car that's very quick and easy to adjust. We'll continue working, but I'm very happy with the car. And I have great teammates - I'm racing with Marino and Dario Franchitti again and now Kevin. I think we have the potential to have a good race for CITGO."
Dario Franchitti "I enjoyed the test a lot. It's a good team and the car looks pretty quick. We're still working on it; we still haven't unlocked the full potential, so our engineer John is going to work on a couple of small tweaks for the race. I'm very pleased with it, but now the hard work starts. It's so much fun to come down here - I'm here to win the race, as everybody in the CITGO car is - but there is an element of just having a good time."
Marino Franchitti "We certainly all found our speed and we're really happy with where we are. I think we're going to come back stronger for the race, so it's been very productive. I've worked with Kevin before, and I've worked with Milka and Dario before. We get on well, and it's a very relaxed environment. It's good to have three teammates that you communicate so well with. Everyone's relaxed and I think that's showing because we're all fast."
Kevin McGarrity "I've always wanted to do this 24-hour race in Daytona. I'm glad that I'm here with a very good team, racing with Marino and Dario and Milka. We've all gelled really well, we've got the car balanced quite well and everyone's up to speed. I'm leaving a bit frustrated because I didn't get a clear lap with new tires, so I should have gone faster. But at least I know I can come back and go quicker."
The 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona will begin at Noon EST on Saturday, January 28 - with the checkered flag waving twenty-four hours later at Noon EST on Sunday, January 29. Speed Channel will provide thirteen hours of live coverage of the first race on the fifteen event Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series schedule for 2006.
For more information on Milka Duno please visit www.milkaduno.com. Additional information on Dario Franchitti is available at www.franchitti.com; Marino Franchitti at www. marinofranchitti .com; and on Kevin McGarrity at www.kevinmcgarrity.com.
CITGO, based in Houston , Texas is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, refined waxes, asphalt and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela , S.A. , the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela . For more information on CITGO visit www.citgo.com .
Contents ©® 2001/2002 Milka
Duno - All Photographs Courtesy of Octavio Estrada