‘Turbo’ has an ace consultant in three-time Indy 500 champ Dario Franchitti (VIDEO)

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“What would 3 G’s feel like to a snail?”

It’s a question posed to three-time Indianapolis 500 and four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti, who in addition to his day job as driver of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda has served as a creative consultant to DreamWorks Animation’s “Turbo,” which premieres July 17. The foundation of the movie is about the title character – a snail that dreams of racing in the 500.

Franchitti has squeezed media availability into his racing schedule to help promote the film. He appeared on NBC’s “Today” to discuss the creative process (above), and he also spent a few minutes talking to MotorSportsTalk on the movie last week.

“What I ended up doing was talking about the details of IndyCar racing specific to the Indianapolis 500,” he said in a phone interview last week. “My part was helping to work with the guys and get the cars to set up ‘Turbo,’ that it looks exactly right and proper.”

The movie is one of IndyCar’s best chances to enter into the mainstream, and reach a broader audience beyond the core group of hardcore fans that follow the series on a full-time basis.

“It’s going to do a massive amount for IndyCar. It’s going open the sport and Indianapolis 500 to a whole new audience, which we need,” he said. “We’ve seen that with DreamWorks with whatever their animated films are. This is the first one based in a real place for them. It’s big for exposing this series to new fans, and should be a mass positive for IndyCar.”

Franchitti finished third at Pocono on Sunday and heads to Toronto this weekend for the doubleheader Honda Indy Toronto, a race he last won in 2011. See the full “Turbo” trailer below.

Alonso would be ‘very happy’ to finish F1 career with McLaren

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Fernando Alonso says he would be “very happy” to see out his Formula 1 career with McLaren after signing a new multi-year contract with the British team, announced on Thursday.

Alonso, 36, ended speculation about his future by agreeing a new deal with McLaren, hopeful of returning to the front of the field next year when the team swaps Honda power for Renault engines.

Alonso admitted to considering options outside of F1 before agreeing to stay at McLaren, and was thought to only be chasing a one-year extension in order to be in a position to snap up a more attractive seat in the volatile 2019 market.

However, Alonso confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the deal with McLaren stretched beyond the end of next year, adding he would be content to see out his time in the sport with the team.

“I never talk about contracts, but one thing I can say is it is a long-term partnership,” Alonso said.

“I am very happy to finish my career at McLaren. So I don’t think it is going to be only one year.”

Alonso also revealed he had options with teams high up the field in F1 for 2018 just a couple of months ago, but was always leaning to staying at McLaren despite not scoring a podium with the team in almost three years.

“There were some other options in F1. In the summer there were still some options at the top teams, but my desire was to stay with McLaren,” Alonso said.

“But at that time they were in conversation with different engine suppliers, so I had to give them time to sort out their situation.

“Then McLaren opted for a Renault engine which delayed my decision, because I had to understand what Renault’s plans were for next years.

“But when I had everything on the table, everything was pretty clear.”