CITGO Racing's Long Beach Post Race Report
April 8, 2006, Long Beach, CA.Milka Duno, Marino Franchitti and the CITGO
Racing team had high hopes for a second top ten finish of the season at
today's Grand American Challenge of Long Beach - the first ever street
circuit appearance for the Daytona Prototypes.
Unfortunately an officiating error cost the #11 CITGO Pontiac Riley a lap -
resulting in an 18th place finish. But for this error by the Grand American
officials, the team would have almost certainly enjoyed a top ten finish.
A large accident on lap 12 brought out the first caution of the 90 minute
race. Quick reactions by the CITGO Racing crew meant that the #11 car was
the first car into the pits immediately following the accident. An excellent
stop for fuel, tires and driver change put the car back out on track ahead
of the lead car and still on the lead lap.
Officials then called the pace car and field to drive through the pits to
avoid debris on the front straight. The call came when the #11 car was well
past the entrance to the pits, but officials unfortunately assessed a
penalty for staying on the front straight after it was closed. The result of
this incorrect penalty meant that the CITGO car lost a lap which was
impossible to make up during the shortened format of the 90 minute race.
Team management made an official protest without success. Peter Baron, Team
principle said "not only are we upset by the outcome of the call, but we are
also disappointed that Grand American policy seems to be that even if an
error is admitted it will at best result in an apology. Other series revise
results and perhaps this is something Grand American should look at in
"I am so disappointed by this result that was not representative of the
fantastic team effort," commented Duno. "We have had electrical and engine
problems all weekend and when finally the car was working well in the race,
and we got the yellow flag at the perfect time, we had a bad call that
effectively put us out of the race. I want to thank the CITGO Racing crew
for working so hard and I am now looking forward to testing this week in
Sonoma and picking up our new race car at the end of the week."
Marino was equally upset and said "the CITGO Racing guys did a great job all
weekend and just when it seemed that things were finally going our way we
got convicted of a crime we didn't commit! Unfortunately these things
happen in sport and we will take the positives out of the weekend and move
on to the next race where we will have a brand new chassis and engine."
For more information on Milka Duno please visit www.milkaduno.com .
Additional information on Marino Franchitti is available at
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 .
Duno is currently featured in Pontiac's largest ever Spanish language
advertising campaign. Pontiac is a division of General Motors Corporation
(NYSE: GM) and markets
the Bonneville, GTO, Grand Prix, Grand Am, G6, Vibe and Sunfire. In 2003,
Pontiac sold more than 475,000 vehicles, ranking third among GM divisions in
total sales. 2004/2005 will see Pontiac launch an exciting new range of
vehicles including the Montana SV6, G6 coupe, G6 convertible and the
Solstice roadster. More information on Pontiac and its products can be found
at www.pontiac.com . Information in Spanish can be found at
Duno is also the Latin American spokesperson for Sony's Xplod car audio
brand. Sony Corporation of America is a leading manufacturer of audio,
video, communications, and information technology products for the consumer
and professional markets. Its music, motion picture, television, computer
entertainment, and online businesses make Sony one of the most comprehensive
entertainment companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual
sales of approximately $67 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31,
2005. You may visit the Sony Corporation website at http://www.sony.net/ .
Sony Latin America has a regional office in Miami, Florida, and subsidiaries
in numerous countries, including Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia,
Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. You may visit the
Sony Latin America website at http://www.sony-latin.com/index_.crp
For additional information on Milka and Marino please visit
www.milkaduno.com or www.marinofranchitti.com , respectively. For more
information on the Rolex Sports Car Series log on to www.grandamerican.com .