Franchitti: I'm ready to go 28 | 01 | 2016

    SCOT MARINO FRANCHITTI was at Silverstone today, 80 days before he drives his stunning new Ford GT in anger in the opening round of the World Endurance Championship at the home of British motorsport (see more photographs of Marino at Silverstone).

    And the 37-year-old from Bathgate — not surprisingly — couldn't wipe the smile from his face as he talked about the exciting new sports car programme which will include not only the 2016 WEC, but the Le Mans 24-Hours.

    For Franchitti, the Ford seat is the deserved culmination of a determined career which, at times, has appeared to stall. While other less talented drivers hopped into vacant seats simply by paying for their drive, the Scot argued he would always let his driving do the talking.

    Throughout his racing career, the Scot has displayed all the ability required to race competitively at the top.

    Now, two years after winning the 12 Hours of Sebring with Ford and Chip Ganassi Racing, Franchitti will lead Ford's return to sports car racing: a return which comes 50 years after Ford first won Le Mans.

    With five outings at the world's most gruelling endurance race already under his belt, he's understandably fired-up for his WEC and Le Mans assault.

    Related: Franchitti leads Ford return to Le Mans 24-Hours

    "The season's going to be awesome," he stated. "It doesn't really get much better than this. Driving for Ford? In sports cars? It's brilliant.

    "I haven’t driven a contemporary GTE car since probably the Aston Martin in 2009, but I drove the Glickenhaus at the Nurburgring last year.

    "And already, even before we start pre-season testing ahead of Silverstone, I've seven days' driving under my belt from the development last year. So we've got a good, solid base platform from which to build on."

    And Franchitti, whose win at Sebring in the Ganassi Riley-Ford EcoBoost DP was powered by a similar engine to that found in his new Ford GT, is hungry for the season to start.

    “Since Sebring two years ago, knowing that this programme has been coming has been my full focus," the Scot — who will be joined by Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla, and Andy Priaulx for the third-generation Ford GT’s inaugural racing season — stated. "I've turned down a number of serious offers to guarantee I remained in the running for a seat with Ford. 

    "And I’ve consciously done things that have complemented my chances of being involved with it. I’m just thankful to Ford, Multimatic and Chip Ganassi Racing of having the faith to make me a part of it. Now I can't wait to get started."

    Related: New Ford Edge to cost from £29,995

    Keep up-to-date with all the latest news by following us on

    Jim McGill


User Comments

Login or register to post comments.