Bathgate’s Dario Franchitti marked his return to IndyCars, after a frustrating season in Nascar, by qualifying his Target Ganassi fourth on the grid for tomorrow’s non-championship race at Surfers Paradise in Australia.
And the 35-year-old Scot, last year’s IndyCar champ and Indy500 winner, admitted he didn’t expect to be competitive so quickly on his return; yet felt he actually could have gone faster.
“The car was awesome and the Target boys did a hell of a job preparing the car. It’s gone a lot better than I expected,” he said after clocking a best time of 1min 35.9336secs in the rain-hit qualifying.
“That said, I made a mess of my final qualifying lap. I overdrove the fast Turn Six. I felt driving in wet knocked my rhythm off a little bit and I didn’t do a good job. But when all’s said and done, fourth on my first IndyCar qualifying for a year isn’t bad.”
While Franchitti’s Ganassi team-mate and 2008 champ, Kiwi Scott Dixon, qualified second on the grid, pole position — for the third time in succession —went to Aussie Will Power who lapped the circuit in 1:34.9451.