Franchitti leaving hospital (Photo via @TCGRTeams Twitter)

Franchitti released from hospital; en route back to Indy

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Dario Franchitti has been released from Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center in Houston this afternoon. The driver of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda will be en route back to Indianapolis for further evaluation and await a second surgery to his right ankle, per a team report.

“I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and I’m thankful to have such a great family and such wonderful friends and fans,” Franchitti said in a team statement. “Thanks to everyone at the hospital and the track who took such good care of me during my stay in Houston. I look forward to watching Scott, Alex and the Target team next weekend on television, and will be pulling for them as they go for another championship.”

Franchitti’s teammate Scott Dixon said he had been in contact with him since Franchitti’s accident Sunday in Houston.

“He’s pretty beat up; he should be back in Indy later today,” Dixon said in a teleconference Thursday. “I know he has control of his phone again, so that’s a good sign.”

Dixon added that the Dallara DW12 performed as best it could have given the circumstances.

“I know a lot of the areas worked on were the rear bumpers from front and back,” Dixon said. “He was lucky but the car did exactly what it should have. It did its job.”

With Franchitti out of action, and at this stage unlikely to travel to Fontana in person, the team has called on Alex Tagliani as a replacement.

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.