He spoke to Henry Hope-Frost on the Autosport stage. The four-time IndyCar Series champion talked about racing at speeds in excess of 230mph at the Indianapolis 500, a race he won three times.
“If you’re outside the car, it looks scary, but when you’re driving, you are so focused, all you want is more, more, more. You just want to go faster.”
He also talked about his near miss with Takumo Sato at Indianapolis. “When he was backwards, he hit the car, and then he blamed me. I did actually lose my temper about that. My spotter’s voice was getting higher and higher.”
It was another collision with Sato at Houston in 2013 that ended his racing career – “I was sort of like Humpty Dumpty, they had to put me together on more than a few occasions” – and today Franchitti is a commentator for Formula E. “It has been a lot of fun with some good places to go to. It’s funny, talking to the drivers from the other side, I’ve got an understanding of what they’re going through.”
Other big names to take to the Autosport Stage included Williams Martini Racing F1 rookie Lance Stroll. “It’s just a dream come true,” he said of his upcoming debut in Melbourne when he we will line up on the grid as the first Canadian since Jacques Villeneuve, who won his 1997 championship a year before Stroll was born.
“I want to do as well as I possibly can for the team… It’s going to be challenging but I’m here and I just want to make the most of it.” Montreal is apparently the race that Stroll is most looking forward to, having grown up just ten minutes away from the track.
F1 driver turned F1 Pundit Johnny Herbert also had an interview on the stage speaking first about Nico Rosberg’s retirement from F1;
“I could see the huge relief on his face in Abu Dhabi, I think it was draining for him but he did it. Why carry on? The chances of winning it a second time were slim so to quit as world champion was great. He deserves it, he beat Lewis fair and square.”
Johnny then spoke about the F3000 accident at Brands hatch in 1989 which nearly cost him his career;
“I had to get around the problems I had, get around telling everybody I was in the pain I was in every single grand prix,” Herbert recalled. “The mental scaring was completely secondary,” he says, compared to the physical injuries.”
There were also plenty of BTCC stars at the show for the third day running including Gordon Shedden, Andrew Jordan, Colin Turkington and Matt Neal. Plus former F1 and Sportscar champion Allan Mcnish was also interviewed.
The Live action show continued at an even faster pace with seven shows crammed into the day. The BTCC shoot out continues as many of the stars of the championship battle in Ginetta G55’s against the clock for the honour of fastest BTCC driver at the show. On top of this Terry Grant has a spectacular stunt show alongside Bike stunt rider Lee Bowers which culminates in the shows finale as they both loop the loop in a buggy! With a 50 years of rally cross display and racing from Autograss and Stock cars, the show is as exciting as ever.
The day also saw presentation for the annual BWRDC Goldstar awards The awards are given annually to female drivers from all aspects of motorsport with an aim of promoting more talented women in Motorsport. This year’s nominees were British TKM Karting championship runner up Abbi Pulling, JSCC champion Katie Milner and Healey Sport speed championship driver Trish Cecile-Pritchard.
In a ceremony held on the MSA stand, Katie Milner was announced as the winner. You can read about Katie’s award and what it means to her in a separate story.
The Coys auction was held today with such Highlights including a 1966 Mini Cooper S BMC Competition Department rally car (hammer price £44,000), a 1996 Porsche 993 Cup racer (£130,000), a 1974 Ferrari 246 GT Dino, right-hand drive and with Ferrari Classiche Certification (£245,000) and a 2004 Ferrari 360 Spider, right-hand drive, six-speed manual and just 27,800 miles (£65,000).
Sunday is the final day and it will see 1997 Formula one world Champion and Indy 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve visiting the show. He is the only Canadian to win both the F1 championship and the Indy 500. He will be interviewed on both the Autosport stage and the f1 racing display. Claire Williams and Rob Smedley from Williams f1 will also be at the show, both on the Autosport stage and the neighbouring Williams exhibit. By Marc Waller