Dario Franchitti Q&A

Dario Franchitti is tired of talking about his move from Champ Cars to IRL Indy Cars. The 29-year old Scot just wants to get down to business in the all-oval Indy Car series in his new Dallara-Honda run by Andretti Green Racing. Dario's car retains the number 27, but it's decked out in a new blue and red paint scheme to represent sponsor Alpine Electronics. He took time to speak to John Oreovicz in Indianapolis

Dario Franchitti Q&A



Short ovals are fun. The car has a lot of grip and you really have to hustle the thing. The last time I drove a car with big downforce on an oval was in 1997, and I can definitely feel the experience I've gained since then. It was all very new to me at that point. So you have to hustle it and you have to work with it.



It's a lot different, which you can tell just by looking at it. The cockpit is a lot smaller - you wouldn't believe how small it is in the cockpit and some of the bigger drivers are going to struggle. I only drove the 2002 car at Indianapolis, but I can tell the new one drives completely differently. They've really taken a lot of weight from the rear of the car and Honda's installation has really tidied things up. The engine seems to just get better and better.



The partnership between Honda and Ilmor is good. They got the engine out a lot quicker than anybody thought they would and I think they have been competitive so far.



It depends the way the sport moves, I suppose. As I said when I made the announcement that I was going to do the IRL, the sport is moving and changing so quickly that who knows where we're going to be in a year's time and what's going to happen. The one constant is the team I'm with - Andretti Green is a different name for the same people. Right now I'm focused on 16 races, including a month at Indianapolis, and a bunch of testing.



When I won the Young Driver Award in 1992, Michael presented me with my trophy. That was the first time that I met him and I watched him through F1 and through leading at Indy every year and winning all those CART races. What can you say about the guy? He's done everything except win [the Indy 500]. He was in a difficult position as the son of Mario, but I think he came out from that shadow years ago. He proved himself in the first year he raced Champ Cars and he's had a terrific career. If you don't know him, you think he's so intense, but he's one of the friendliest guys I've ever met and he seems to just get more and more chilled out.

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