The Motor Sports Association would like to congratulate Dario Franchitti who claimed the 2009 IndyCar Series yesterday with victory in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is the second time the 36 year old from Edinburgh has won the biggest championship in American single-seater racing, having previously taken the title in 2007.
Colin Hilton, MSA Chief Executive:
“On behalf of British motor sport, I would like to congratulate Dario on his second IndyCar Series championship. He has always been a terrific ambassador for the sport both in this country and around the world and he richly deserves this crown.
“International success is not only a good illustration of the strength and depth of British motor sport, but it is also critical to the development of our domestic sporting scene. The MSA will continue to invest in its young driver training programmes to give our most promising athletes the best possible chance of making an impression on the world stage.”
Dario Franchitti started his racing career in karts in his native Scotland at the age of ten. He won two British karting titles before moving into cars, winning the Formula Vauxhall Junior title in 1991 and Formula Vauxhall Lotus crown in 1993. By then he had already been voted winner of the prestigious BRDC McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year (1992).
Following a strong debut season in the MSA British Formula 3 Championship, his international career brought wins for Mercedes-Benz in the International Touring Car (ITC) championship. Then, in 1997, came his move to the USA where he contested six seasons of ChampCar World Series and emerged as a prolific race winner missing out on the title in 1999 on a tiebreak, having finished level on points with Juan Pablo Montoya.
His career took a knock in 2000 when he badly injured his back in a motorcycle accident but, after a full recovery, he returned as one of the top names in US motor sport, winning the IRL championship in 2007. After a season in NASCAR last year, Dario returned to the IndyCar Series for 2009, winning the title with Ganassi Racing.
Release MSA09-041: 12 October 2009