Dario Franchitti 'richly deserves' the 2009 IndyCar Series drivers' crown that he clinched at Homestead-Miami Speedway at the weekend, the Motor Sports Association (MSA) has praised - with Colin Hilton describing the Scot as a 'a terrific ambassador' for motor racing both at home and abroad.

Franchitti took advantage of a bold fuel strategy and his fuel management capabilities to defeat Target Chip Ganassi team-mate Scott Dixon and Team Penske rival Ryan Briscoe in a thrilling Florida finale on Sunday, claiming both race victory and his second series title in his first season back since his unhappy NASCAR sojourn.

The outcome meant Edinburgh-born Franchitti has now claimed the laurels in both 2007 and 2009, firstly for Andretti Green Racing and now for Ganassi, and makes him statistically one of the championship's most successful drivers in recent history.

"On behalf of the governing body of British motorsport, I would like to congratulate Dario on his second IndyCar Series championship," remarked MSA chief executive Hilton. "He has always been a terrific ambassador for the sport both in this country and around the world, and he richly deserves this crown.

"International success is not only a good illustration of the strength and depth of British motorsport, but it is also critical to the development of our domestic sporting scene. The MSA will continue to invest in its young driver training programmes to give our most promising athletes the best possible chance of making an impression on the world stage."


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