The Motor Sports Association (MSA) congratulates Dario Franchitti, who successfully defended his IndyCar Series title after finishing in eighth place at the season finale at Homestead yesterday.
It is the third time in four years that the Scotsman has claimed the biggest prize in US single-seater racing and this year also brought the Ganassi driver a second victory in America’s most famous motor race, the Indianapolis 500.
MSA Chief Executive Colin Hilton said: “On behalf of the UK motor sport community, I would like to congratulate Dario on defending his IndyCar Series title. British motor sport is enjoying a golden period at the moment and, as a triple IndyCar champion and a double Indy 500 winner, Dario is proving to be a superb ambassador for us in the US.”
Franchitti, aged 37 from Edinburgh, started his racing career in karts in his native Scotland while just 10 years old with almost immediate success. 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 crowned the winner of the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award (1992).
Following a strong debut season in the British Formula 3 Championship, his international career brought wins for Mercedes-Benz in the FIA International Touring Car (ITC) Championship. In 1997 he moved to the US, where he contested six seasons of Champ Car World Series, missing out on the title in 1999 on a tiebreak after finishing level on points with Juan Pablo Montoya.
Having recovered from a motorcycle accident in 2000, Franchitti emerged once more as a top name in US motor sport, securing a maiden Indianapolis 500 victory in 2007 en route to his first IndyCar Series title. He took the title again in 2009, before this year claiming a second Indy 500 victory in May as part of his successful title defence.