Dario Franchitti to be analyst on new Formula E series telecasts

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The next chapter of now-retired IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti’s life will be spent in part in front of a television camera.

Officials of the new Formula E race series, which begins in September with its debut race in Beijing, China, announced Friday that Franchitti will be part of the broadcast team on the series’ 10 races in the inaugural 2014-15 season.

The four-time IndyCar Series champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner will be part of a broadcast team that includes fellow announcers Jack Nicholls, Nicki Shields and Robert Llewellyn, according to AutoSport.com.

“It is no secret that I have a passion for the history and evolution of motorsports,” Franchitti told FiaFormulaE.com. “To be on the team that will now cover an exciting new racing category is a great honor and I can’t wait to see how the Formula E cars perform when the lights go out in Beijing.”

Formula E cars are electric powered and the series is overseen by FIA.

“We get to see some great racing with the totally new twist of an electric car,” Franchitti said. “It’s going to be fascinating to see how that works – and from a driver’s standpoint, the intricacies of driving it with that instant torque delivery.

“Some of the drivers that are coming on board look amazing. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Franchitti will also continue as a consultant to Chip Ganassi Racing, as well. Franchitti was forced to retire from racing after suffering serious injuries in a wreck late last season in a race in Houston.

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FIA returns Manor’s F1 entry fee for 2017

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Good news: Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited got a refund of an entry fee it paid to the FIA to run in this year’s F1 season.

Bad news: Manor still hasn’t run this year, and won’t be for the foreseeable future (especially as Manor’s former leadership staff is moving that team into FIA WEC’s new-look LMP1 class in addition to its LMP2 program).

Manor Group’s receivership outfit, Just Racing Services Limited, went into administration earlier this year. As there was no new buyer for the F1 team, Manor dropped from the 2017 grid before the season.

The FIA said it would return its entry fee to help Manor Group pay off outstanding debts.

It basically means nothing in the grand scheme of things since Manor missed out on 10th place in the constructor’s standings in 2016 and fell from the F1 grid as a result, but hey, it’s a goodwill gesture going into Thanksgiving this week.