Mazda Motorsports confirmed Monday that Marino Franchitti will complete the team’s lineup in next month’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
The 38-year-old Scot will join Tom Long and Joel Miller in the No. 70 Mazda RT24-P, marking his Prototype class return since winning the race outright in 2014 with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing.
Franchitti also returns to the Mazda fold, having been part of the Dyson Racing squad in the American Le Mans Series in 2009 and with SpeedSource at the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
More recently, he was part of Ganassi’s Ford GT lineup in the FIA World Endurance Championship, prior to being dropped mid-season last year.
“It’s so cool to be coming back into the Mazda family,” said Franchitti. “Like everyone else, I was blown away when I saw the first shots of the RT24-P and how incredible it looks, so there’s a lot of excitement at getting to drive it.
“I’m relieved I get a chance to test the car, as many times I’ve just jumped in and raced, so this is a bit of a luxury!
“Being a part of the development process of a car is something I’ve been lucky enough to do several times and it’s something I really love.”
Franchitti, who has five first or second-place finishes at Sebring to his credit since 2008, will get his first laps in Mazda’s DPi contender at this week’s IMSA-sanctioned test.
“He’s a proven winner there, and he’s been a part of the Mazda family for years,” said Mazda Motorsports Director John Doonan. “Just look at his record at Sebring.
“He has the experience that can really help our team. Because he’s driven with Mazda before, we know his personality is a great fit.
“That’s important to us, and it goes a long way in helping the team chemistry remain strong. He’s a great fit with Tom [Long] and Joel [Miller], just as Spencer Pigot has been great with Nunez and Bomarito.”
Spencer Pigot will again rejoin full-season drivers Tristan Nunez and Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 55 Mazda for the second round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.