Thru Noggles Goggles .::. October 17th
He began his career in the mid/late ’90s, initially finding his feet in Formula Ford 1600 competing in The Champion of Oulton series against circuit specialists such as Alaric Gordon (Champion ’99 and ’01). These were times for learning and initially, results were poor and it was not clear that Marino had the talent to succeed. Some suggested that it was only thanks to the family name that Marino was able to put his poor initial form at Oulton behind him and move forward to Formula Vauxhall in 1998.
In 2001, he began driving sports cars and won the GTO Championship in the British GT Championship series. He joined his brother in America in 2002, and drove in Grand Am and the American Le Mans Series, winning 1 race in the LMP 675 class.
In 2003, he was a development driver for Scuderia Ecosse’s Ferrari 360 effort, racing with the team at the 12 Hours of Sebring. In 2004, he was a driver for the Panoz Esperante factory team in ALMS as well as making a few Le Mans Series starts in a Porsche. He continued with the Panoz works outfit for the 2005 season, driving in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In 2006, he returned to Scuderia Ecosse for their effort in FIA GT as well as making assorted other appearances in high-profile sports car endurance races, including the 24 Hours of Daytona for SAMAX Motorsport.
In 2007, he signed a full-season deal to join his brother at Andretti Green Racing and to be the full-time driver for their new ALMS P2 class Acura entry with teammate Bryan Herta. Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, and Herta teamed up to win the P2 class in the first outing for the team and the car: the 2007 12 Hours of Sebring. Marino started with the team at the next race in St. Pete. Both Franchitti brothers left the team after the 2007 season and while Dario went to Nascar. Marino continued in the ALMS, switching to Dyson Racing’s Porsche RS Spyder, partnering with Butch Leitzinger.
He remained with the team for 2009, which fielded a Mazda powered Lola B09/86. He moved to Highcroft Racing for three events in 2010.
In 2011, Franchitti finished second at the Twelve Hours of Sebring in the Highcroft RacingHonda Performance Development ARX-01e, which turned out to be the car’s first and only race. He made an end-of-year start with Level 5 Motorsports in one of its Honda Performance Development ARX-01g’s at the Petit Le Mans.
For 2012, Franchitti has been confirmed as the first driver of the Highcroft Racing DeltaWing, which will run as the 56th and unclassified entrant in the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Marino is married to Holly Mason, second daughter of Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.
Both Marino and Dario Franchitti are friends off the track of fellow Scottish driver Allan McNish. Prior to McNish’s wedding both Franchittis attended McNish’s stag party in Dumfries taking in a Queen of the South F.C. football match.
Felipe Massa will remain with Ferrari in 2013. (Steve Etherington Photo)
Scuderia Ferrari has announced that it has renewed the contract of driver Felipe Massa through the end of the 2013 Formula One World Championship season. Massa will once again partner with two-time Formula One World Championship Fernando Alonso next year.
This announcement puts an end to rumors that Ferrari was attempting to sign reigning two-time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel to replace Massa. Massa has been with the Ferrari team since 2006, earning 11 victories and a best finish of second in the Formula One World Championship in 2008.