MARCH 10, 1997
Ron and Indycars
Franchitti is driving a Reynard-Mercedes for Carl Hogan and looks to be spending this year getting acquainted with the Indycar scene in preparation for bigger and better things in 1998. As a Mercedes prot?g? Franchitti could simply be being groomed to join Penske but it may be that McLaren has its own plans in America.
McLaren is trying to play down the rumors, suggesting that Brown is merely helping to groom young McLaren drivers such as Franchitti for future stardom. The team funds a Young Driver program in association with Autosport magazine in London but there appear to be plans for an even bigger involvement in promoting youngsters. As part of this project the team will shortly be testing rising British stars Darren Turner and Johnny Kane in a McLaren-Mercedes MP4/11.