Franchitti forced to quit

2013-11-15 08:18
Dario Franchitti (File)
New York - Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti has been forced to quit motor racing on medical advice after having suffered multiple injuries in a horrifying crash.

The 40-year-old Scottish driver broke two vertebrae, suffered a concussion, two broken ribs and a broken right ankle that required two surgeries at the Grand Prix of Houston in October.

Franchitti's car went airborne after colliding with that of Japanese driver Takuma Sato and slammed into the safety fencing. A dozen spectators were also injured by debris that flew over the fence.

"One month removed from the crash and based upon the expert advice of the doctors who have treated and assessed my head and spinal injuries post accident, it is their best medical opinion that I must stop racing," Franchitti said in a statement.

"They have made it very clear that the risks involved in further racing are too great and could be detrimental to my long term well-being. Based on this medical advice, I have no choice but to stop."

Franchitti won 31 Indy car races and the famed Indy 500 in 2007, 2010 and 2012. He won the IndyCar series title four times.

"I was looking forward to the 2014 season with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, with a goal of winning a fourth Indianapolis 500 and a fifth IndyCar Series championship," he added.

"Hopefully in time, I'll be able to continue in some off-track capacity with the IndyCar Series."

Franchitti was driving for Target Chip Ganassi Racing when he won the Indianapolis 500 in 2010 and 2012, and won three straight IndyCar Series titles in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Overall, Franchitti made 265 career Indy car starts. His four championships are tied with Mario Andretti behind A.J. Foyt's record seven, and he is one of three drivers in Indy car history to win at least three successive titles.

"Dario Franchitti has done so much for Target Chip Ganassi Racing so it will be very disappointing to not see him in our cars next season," said team owner Chip Ganassi, a former IndyCar driver himself.

"But simply put, Dario is a motor sports legend and will be sorely missed on the racetrack by everyone in the paddock and in the stands."

Franchitti made his debut in the now-defunct Championship Auto Racing Teams US open-wheel series in 1997. He made one IndyCar Series start - the Indianapolis 500 - in 2002. He joined Andretti Green Racing for the 2003 season.

After winning the 2007 Indianapolis 500 and his first series title, Franchitti briefly jumped to NASCAR stock car racing before returning to IndyCar full time in 2009.

Read more on:    dario franchitti  |  motorsport

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