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APRIL 24, 2000

Franchitti looking for F1 future

SCOTTISH CART driver Dario Franchitti was one of several American visitors to the British Grand Prix paddock at Silverstone. Franchitti has been racing in the United States for the last three seasons. He started out in CART as a Mercedes-Benz driver with Carl Hogan's team but at the end of 1997 he made the controversial decision to join Team Green on a three-yearÊcontract,Êusing Honda engines. He came close to winning the championship last year but was beaten at the last race by Juan-PabloÊMontoya.

Since then Franchitti has repaired his damaged relationship with Mercedes-Benz and we have heard suggestions thatÊheÊwillÊprobably be a candidate for the Prost team if it manages to convince McLaren to release a second supply of Mercedes-BenzÊV10 engines for the French team.

Franchitti would be a good catch for Formula 1 as he is one of the best-known names in CART racing and with Formula 1 trying to make an impact in the United States but, no US drivers being suitable, he is a good bet.

Franchitti's 2000 season to date has not been easy. He is recovering from injuries received in a testing crash over the winter and in the races to date has failed to make much of an impression. Damage is not permanent, however, and Franchitti hopes that as he gets fitter he will become more competitive.

Also visiting the Silverstone paddock was Penske CART driver Gil de Ferran and Formula Atlantic driver Alex Gurney, son of US F1 racer Dan Gurney.