Chichester, West Sussex, England — Four-time IndyCar and triple Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti is set to make his return to racing at next weekend’s Goodwood Revival nearly six years after he last raced in professional competition.
Franchitti, absent from racing since his 2013 crash during the Grand Prix of Houston, recently received medical clearance to get back behind the wheel, and he has chosen the Revival to make his comeback.
“I’m delighted to be returning to competition,” said Franchitti. “I really thought my racing days were behind me, but it is tough to give up something that has been a part of my life for so long and that I love so much. Of course, this won’t mean a return to front-line competition (so no Indy 500 or Le Mans), but simply enjoying the sport I love as an amateur.”
Despite his forced hiatus from racing, the 46-year-old Franchitti has remained active with motorsports through commentating on Formula E, by acting as patron for the new Jim Clark museum in Duns, Scotland and by participating in driving demonstrations at Goodwood.
At the Goodwood Revival, Franchitti will contest both the Kinrara Trophy in a Ferrari 250 SWB, and the RAC Tourist Trophy Celebration race at the wheel of one of the most historic AC Cobras in existence.
Built at AC’s Thames Ditton factory in 1963, registration 39 PH featured a Carroll Shelby-built engine and a large, streamlined aluminum hardtop to improve aerodynamics. It was entered into that year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans in a factory team managed by none other than Stirling Moss, and piloted by drivers Ninian Sanderson and Peter Bolton to seventh place, covering 2,592 miles in 24 hours at an average speed of more than 108 mph.
Often referred to as the greatest European ex-works Cobra, 39 PH then joined the Willment Racing stable, becoming one of the fastest GT cars seen in Britain throughout the 1960s.
Still wearing the red and white striped Willment livery, it now belongs to renowned GT and historic racer Gregor Fisken, who will join Franchitti in the two-driver RAC TT Celebration.
Also on that race’s grid will be nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen and five-time Le Mans champ Emmanuele Pirro.