IndyCar »

Montagny set for Indy road race with Andretti

French sportscar star and former F1 driver Franck Montagny is to return to the Verizon IndyCar Series next month with Andretti Autosport.
Franck Montagny is finally going to get his second outing in the Verizon IndyCar Series next month, after Andretti Autosport tapped the French sportscar star to race for them in the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10.

It will be the first time that the IndyCar Series has staged a road race at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Montagny will be joining the regular Andretti line-up of Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Carlos Munoz and Marco Andretti for the event, which takes place just over a fortnight ahead of the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500.

"I am very happy to be back with Andretti Autosport," said Montagny, who made his series début with the team in 2009 at the wheel of a co-entry with AFS Racing in the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway.

"I have already felt 'at home' during my visits," said the 36-year-old, who will be at the wheel of the #26 Honda-powered Andretti entry for the race, which will subsequently be handed over to Kurt Busch for the Indy 500. "Participating in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis in the temple of motorsport that is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a true moment of happiness.

Montagny tested last month on the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course, and is scheduled to participate in the Open Test on the 2.46-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course configuration on April 30.

These days Montagny is best known for competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours race in which he has four podium finishes from a dozen starts. Montagny's relationship with Andretti Autosport dates back to 2008 when he competed in seven races for the team in the American Le Mans Series where he was teamed with Andretti, Tony Kanaan, Raphael Matos and James Rossiter.

Before that, Montagny made seven Grand Prix starts in F1 with Super Aguri in 2006 alongside Takuma Sato, himself now a full-time IndyCar Series driver and race winner with AJ Foyt Racing. As well as his sportscar competition, Montagny has been working in the media as a reporter for the French TV Group TF1 and as a F1 consultant and pit reporter for Canal+.

Montagny made his American open-wheel debut in the April 2008 Champ Car finale at Long Beach with Forsythe/Pettit Racing which saw him finish second to Will Power, before making his sole IndyCar outing the following season at Sonoma with Andretti.

Dollar General to sponsor Villeneuve at Indy

US retail chain Dollar General is to fund Jacques Villeneuve's bid to take part in next month's 98th running of the Indianapolis 500. The former F1 world champion is making his first return to the 500-mile race in 19 years with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

"I have so many wonderful memories of racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway throughout my career, including my last appearance at the track in the Brickyard 400 when I also was sponsored by Dollar General," Villeneuve said, referring to his last outing at the circuit in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

"It's been 19 years since I ran this race," he added. "But returning with a team like Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and a household-name sponsor like Dollar General is going to give me a fantastic opportunity to perform at a high level."

Despite being the winner of the 1995 Indy 500 and runner up the previous year on his first attempt, Villeneuve will still be required to take part in final two stages of the mandatory Rookie Orientation Programme because of his extended time away from open-wheel racing on superspeedways.

The 43-year-old has already elected to take part in the ROP session on April 29.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
29.09.2006 Shanghai, China, Franck Montagny (FRA), Test Driver, Super Aguri F1, Super Aguri F1, SA06 - Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16, Chinese Grand Prix, Friday Practice
19.09.2006 Silverstone, England, Franck Montagny (FRA), Test Driver, Toyota Racing
Franck Montagny (FRA)/Stephane Sarrazin (FRA) Peugeot Sport Total Peugeot 908
Stepane Sarrazin/Franck Montagny/Nicolas Minassian - Peugeot Sport Total Peugeot 908
Franck Montagny is making his IndyCar Series debut. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Franck Montagny on the course at Infineon Raceway for practice in Sonoma. (Photo by: Ron McQueeney for IndyCar Media)
Franck Montagny is making his IndyCar Series debut. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) celebrates winning the 2016 IndyCar title with victory at Sonoma   [pic credit: Chris Owens]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Ed Jones celebrates winning the 2016 Indy Lights championship
Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing) celebrates at Laguna Seca
Kyle Kaiser - Juncos Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing crew working on the boss` car   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Indy Lights action
Indy Lights title contender Santiago Urrutia, Ed Jones, Dean Stoneman, Felix Serralles, Kyle Kaiser and Zach Veach   [pic credit: IndyCar Media]
Santiago Urrutia - Schmidt Petersen Motorsport
Will Power - Team Penske

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.