Franchitti visits America’s Cup champions (VIDEO)

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We’re still a week out from the IZOD IndyCar Series returning to action for the GoPro Grand Prix at Sonoma Raceway (Next Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, NBCSN), but Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti dropped by the San Francisco Bay Area early for a special visit with defending America’s Cup champions Oracle Team USA.

Franchitti, the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, definitely appreciates speed in all forms, and from the looks of the video above, was quite impressed with Oracle’s state-of-the-art racing boats – calling them “IndyCars on water.”

As for Oracle, they’re currently awaiting the outcome of the best-of-13 Louis Vuitton Cup, which is being contested between Emirates Team New Zealand and Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge. The LVC winner will move on to face Oracle for yachting’s biggest prize in September.

This weekend, NBCSN will have coverage of the first four races of the LVC Final between Emirates and Luna Rossa. Races 1 and 2 will air tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. ET, followed by Races 3 and 4 on Sunday, again at 6 p.m. ET.

Have a decent tax refund coming? Buy Ayrton Senna’s 1993 Monaco-winning car

Photos courtesy Bonhams
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Are you expecting a better than normal tax refund? Did you get a very nice bonus from your company due to the new tax cut?

Well, if you have a good chunk of change hanging around and potentially can be in Monaco on May 11, you can have a chance to bid on the 1993 McLaren-Ford MP4/8A that the late Ayrton Senna drove in — and won — that year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

We’re not just talking about any race winner. It’s also the same car Senna won his sixth Monaco Grand Prix, and the chassis bears the number six.

It’s also the same car Senna piloted to that season’s F1 championship (his third and final title before sadly being killed the next year) and is the first McLaren driven by Senna that’s ever been sold or put up for auction.

The famed Bonhams auction house is overseeing the sale of the car.

“Any Grand Prix-winning car is important, but to have the golden combination of both Senna and Monaco is a seriously rare privilege indeed,” Bonhams global head of motorsport, Mark Osborne, told The Robb Report.

“Senna and Monaco are historically intertwined, and this car represents the culmination of his achievements at the Monegasque track. This is one of the most significant Grand Prix cars ever to appear at auction, and is certainly the most significant Grand Prix car to be offered since the Fangio Mercedes-Benz W196R, which sold for a world record at auction.”

How much might you need? You might want to get a couple of friends to throw in a few bucks as well.

“We expect the car to achieve a considerable seven-figure sum,” Osborne said.

The London newspaper “The Telegraph” predicts the car will sell in the $6.1 million range.”

“This car will set the world record for a Senna car at auction,” Osborne said. “We are as certain as you can be in the auction world.”

While you won’t be able to take the car for a test drive before the auction, it’ll be ready to roar once you pay the price.

“In theory, the buyer could be racing immediately upon receipt of the cleared funds after the auction,” Osborne said. “All systems are primed and ready.”