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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

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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)
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi Indy Car [credit: IndyCar TV Twitter]
Scott Dixon Indy 500
Max Chilton Indy 500 2017
Max Chilton Indy 500 2017
Scott Dixon Indy 500 qualifying
Max Chilton IndyCar 2017
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to victory at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to pole at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon leads the Indycar field   [pic credit: Indycar media/Bret Kelley]
Scott Dixon - Target Chip Ganassi Racing   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/JOE SKIBINSKI]
Max Chilton, Chip Ganassi, [Credit: Max Chilton PR]
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi [credit: IndyCar Series]
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi [credit: IndyCar Series]
Scott Dixon is congratulated by Dario Franchitti after winning the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)

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