Not feeling the effects of jetlag from Tokyo to Indianapolis, reigning Indianapolis 500 and IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti on Sept. 21 had the opportunity to drive two special cars at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
He presented the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS Pace Car replica to a sweepstakes winner – giving Bruce Barhydt of North Carolina and his wife a high-speed ride around the track – and got behind the wheel of the Lotus that his racing hero, fellow Scotsman Jim Clark, drive to victory in the 1965 Indianapolis 500. The car was restored last year in Indianapolis.
“I never thought I get to drive that car,” he said.Formula One, Indy 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IMS, Indianapolis 500, “I got to stand next to it one day and that was pretty intense. “It was a lifetime dream to drive that car, and to drive it here at the Speedway was incredible.”
Earlier this month, Franchitti attended the Formula One race weekend at Monza, Italy, and compared the electricity to the Indy 500.
“As a kid I went to Monza when I was about 6 years old,” he said. “My dad was doing some practice in a Formula 3 car. It’s kind of like going to the Speedway when it’s quiet. It’s kind of like being in an empty church.
“Then you go there for the Grand Prix and it’s like going to Indy for the 500. The place was mad and obviously the Ferrari fans were going nuts with (Fernando) Alonso winning. It’s a different atmosphere than IndyCar because the fans don’t get near the paddock. You have this madness and go through these barriers and then it’s quiet all of a sudden. That was quite interesting.”