Patron Highcroft Racing has confirmed the signing of Marino Franchitti for its 2010 American Le Mans Series programme.

Franchitti will join forces with David Brabham and Simon Pagenaud for the events at Sebring, Laguna Seca and Petit Le Mans at the wheel of the teams Acura ARX-01c.

The Scot make the move having competed for the Dyson Racing team in recent seasons.

"It's great to be joining the championship winning team and linking up not only with last year's two fastest drivers in LMP1 in the American Le Mans Series, but also two good friends who will be my team-mates," Franchitti said. "Brabs I've known and admired for years, and Simon became a friend almost from the time he came to the ALMS.

"I'm very excited about my role with the team because I will not only be doing the long races at Sebring, Laguna Seca and Petit Le Mans, but I will also be attending all the other races.

"My job will be to sit in on all our team briefings and hopefully be able to learn and also lean on some of the experience I've gained in recent years in order to have a positive input into the development of the car. There are also a lot of test miles planned in preparation for the championship defense so I know I won't be idle."

Team boss Duncan Dayton was delighted to confirm the new arrival, who will fill the position held last season by brother Dario who is unable to return due to his IndyCar commitments.

"The calendar clash with Petit Le Mans and IndyCar forced us to look for a new third driver for this year and we were very fortunate to be able to keep it in the family," he said. "But Marino's surname really had nothing to do with the decision. He has been extremely impressive over the past couple of seasons and we jumped at the opportunity to grab him when he became available.

"We've been friends for quite a few years and he shares the same passion for the sport that we all have here in Danbury - both for modern and historic racing.

"Brabs has played an integral role for our team and we want him to be a part our organisation for many years to come - but he may not want still to be behind the wheel in 10 years time. Bringing younger guys on board like Simon and Marino is important for securing our future.

"I'm truly excited about our line-up for the 2010 season and can't wait to kick off our championship defence."


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