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Kanaan plans to honour Franchitti legacy in #10 car

Tony Kanaan says he intends to honour the legacy of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi car as predecessor Dario Franchitti looks to a new role to keep himself involved in the IndyCar Series.

Tony Kanaan has said that he intends to honour friend and rival Dario Franchitti every time he steps into the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car next season.

The Brazilian, who succeeds Franchitti in the #10 after the Scot was advised to retire following his massive crash in Houston towards the end of the 2013 IndyCar Series season, admitted that he found it hard to believe the way things had played out in recent weeks, but was delighted to be handed the chance to continue the legacy of the Ganassi entry which Franchitti took to three of his four championship titles and two out of three Indy 500 victories.

"The day of my announcement [as driver of the #10], was the day Dario said 'this [retirement] is real',” Kanaan acknowledged, “It's kind of funny how the story was written.

“To be honest with you, I was thinking about it the other day. If there's a funny way to look at it, when Dan [Wheldon] went upstairs, he found the book of the story of our lives - and he found a page and changed it. He wrote this [scenario] down. It's just unbelievable. The three last guys on the [Borg-Warner] trophy and the three last guys who drove the #10 car.

“For me, at this point of my career, to get the opportunity like that, it wasn't in my mind. It was a difficult day, just watching Dario, but he does such a good job. I wouldn't be able to handle myself without crying, but he was talking to all his friends. I know that I can honour him every time I drive his car."

Franchitti confirmed that, until Kanaan was confirmed in the #10 for 2014, there was always the thought at the back of his mind that perhaps his career wasn't over, despite being warned that another blow to the head could have serious repercussions following the concussion he sustained in the Houston shunt. With his friend installed alongside long-time team-mate Scott Dixon, however, the Scot's attention now turns to finding a way to remain involved in the sport that has given him so much.

“I spent two days kind of thinking 'how can I get 'round this?',” Franchitti admitted, “ In 2003, I drove with a broken back in one race, till Dr [Terry] Trammell found out and got upset with me. I've driven with a few broken body parts over the years, [and] I thought 'there's got to be some kind of a way, some negotiation here', but there wasn't.

“Realising and being told that I wasn't going to be able to race anymore, that was a whole different stage. It's that old thing of you don't know what you've got, right? Pretty quickly, I realised how much I was going to miss doing what I do. Just little things like working with engineers, phoning [engineer Chris] Simmons up, giving him a hard time, going in the shop and complaining about my seat….

“I'd love to stay involved in IndyCar racing, certainly with the Target team, everybody involved in that. That's something we're working on. We're working to make that happen. Hopefully, that will come along soon and I can start really getting involved and working with the team, continuing that.




Related Pictures

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Tony Kanaan sits in his NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing car during a test day at Sebring International Raceway on December 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Dave Lewandowski for IndyCar Media)
Dario Franchitti in action during practice for the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston on Friday, October 4 2013. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Dario Franchitti`s helmet rests on the sidepod of the #10 Ganassi car after clinching pole position for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway - Saturday, August 24 2013 (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Dario Franchitti jokes with Tony Kanaan during his press conference at the Target Chip Ganassi Racing offices. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, Takuma Sato, Mike Conway, Will Power, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, Takuma Sato, Mike Conway, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe (second left) is announced as the fourth driver for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2014 where he will join (L-R) Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon. Kanaan will drive the #10 previously piloted by Dario Franchitti. Briscoe will drive the new #8 car in a multi-year contract. (Photo Credit: Lynne Huntting, presssnoop.com)
Tony Kanaan gets acclimated to his new car as mechanic Steve Namisnak makes adjustments to a mirror prior to a test at Sebring International Raceway on December 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Dave Lewandowski for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, left, and Charlie Kimball, center, compare notes during some downtime at a Chip Ganassi Racing test day at Sebring International Raceway on December 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Dave Lewandowski for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan discusses his car with engineer Eric Cowdin during a Chip Ganassi Racing team test day at Sebring International Raceway on December 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Dave Lewandowski for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan prepares to test his NTT Data car at Sebring International Raceway on December 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Dave Lewandowski for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan watches on as Charlie Kimball sits in his car during a Chip Ganassi Racing team test day at Sebring International Raceway on December 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Dave Lewandowski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates on the podium with Ed Carpenter and Tony Kanaan after the IndyCar finale, MATV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California on Saturday, October 19, 2013. (Picture Credit: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, center, celebrates his win with 2nd place Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, left, and 3rd place Tony Kannan, driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KV Racing Technology - SS Racing Chevrolet, right, Saturday, October 19, 2013 in the IndyCar finale, MATV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California. (Photo Credit: Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan in action during practice for the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston on Friday, October 4 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Chip Ganassi and Tony Kanaan pose with Jeffrey Womack, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at NTT DATA, Inc., during their press conference in Houston. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet`s Jim Campbell joins Tony Kanaan, and Chip Ganassi during their press conference in Houston. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and Chip Ganassi share a lighter moment as they announce their 2014 plans. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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