Marino Franchitti boarded an airplane in London last week with the intention of participating, along with other team colleagues, in Peugeot's endurance test at Sebring over the weekend, but by the time he stepped off the plane in Florida, Peugeot had surprised everyone – not least Dario's younger brother – by announcing the withdrawal of its factory Le Mans Prototype team from sports car racing.
"First of all, I have to pay my respects to the whole Peugeot Sport team. I feel so bad for everyone involved and wish them all the best for the future," related Franchitti. "It's certainly a huge opportunity lost for me personally, but we must look forward.
With that in mind, the younger Franchitti is focusing fully on this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona. Driving the SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 with co-drivers Jonathan Bomarito, James Hinchcliffe and Sylvain Tremblay, Marino will be making his fourth appearance in the endurance classic.
"I can't wait for the Daytona 24 Hours and, having visited the SpeedSource guys last week, I know they are totally ready and are leaving no stone unturned in their preparations," added Franchitti. "There has been a lot of communication with my teammates and Sylvain, Jonathan and James are raring to go, too, so hopefully we can all come home with the win in the MazdaSpeed RX-8 and just as importantly, the famous Rolex Daytona watch!