Franchitti to stay a Champ Car man

DARIO FRANCHITTI has resolved to stick with his current employers, Team Kool Green, in CART Champ Car racing until the end of 2003.

Franchitti, a former protege of both Jackie Stewart and Mercedes-Benz, has been a stalking force in the Formula 1 driver market in recent seasons, and his stock remains high in the sport after tying with Juan Pablo Montoya at the top of the 1999 Champ Car points standings.

After a disastrous test with Jaguar Racing last year the 28-year-old returned to Team Kool Green on a one year deal while his manager, renowned F1 operator Julian Jakobi, worked to get his man a second bite of the cherry. This has not come about in the frenzied driver market of 2001, and Franchitti is ready to challenge for the title in CART for some time to come.

"I have to do what makes me happy and this season I have had one of my most enjoyable," said the Scot. "I also need to be somewhere that is going to provide me with the chance to win races and Team Kool Green can do that. Formula 1 is something that I still look at, but everything that I'm doing over here is something that makes me happy."

This is Franchitti's fifth season in Champ Cars since he was transferred to the USA by Mercedes from its defunct International Touring Car squad. The Scot has carved an impressive career for himself and is engaged to Hollywood actress Ashley Judd, and looks set to continue his winning ways.

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