Franchitti open to potential broadcast role

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While Dario Franchitti discussed the process leading up to his retirement and recalled some of his best racing memories, he also addressed the future during his media availability on Thursday.

The Scot seems to desire a future team role with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, but when asked of the potential to go into broadcasting, Franchitti admitted it held some interest.

“Yeah, I’m open to it, absolutely,” Franchitti said. “If it was done in the right way, yes, I would be open to it.  I think whatever you do, though, you’ve got to do it properly.  That’s something I’d have to take into account.  Could I work with a team 100% and give 100% to that and be totally focused on that?  Broadcast, too.

“Could I do those things?  If I could, then I’d be interested in it.  There’s no point in doing anything half-assed.  Not the way I do things.  The guys here would get pretty pissed off pretty quickly.

“The reason for me to do something here would be to add something to the team.  The team here is pretty successful.  That’s an understatement obviously.  I have to add something if I’m going to come along.”

In 2013, Leigh Diffey anchored all of the NBCSN IndyCar broadcasts (except Long Beach due to another commitment) alongside full-time analyst Townsend Bell and third analysts Wally Dallenbach (most races), David Hobbs (Milwaukee), Steve Matchett (Toronto), Ryan Briscoe (Mid-Ohio) Gil de Ferran (Indianapolis 500 qualifying), Jon Beekhuis (Indianapolis 500 qualifying and Brazil) and Robin Miller (Brazil). Beekhuis, Miller, Kevin Lee, Marty Snider, Will Buxton and Brian Till patrolled pit lane throughout the year.

The ABC broadcasts have a vacancy for lead announcer with Marty Reid not returning to that post in 2014. Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever Jr. were color analysts alongside Reid in 2013, with Rick DeBruhl, Vince Welch, Jamie Little and Dr. Jerry Punch in the pits.

NBCSN will broadcast 13 of the 18 IndyCar races in 2014, with Long Beach and Barber in April and the last 11 in a row starting with the Saturday night race, June 7, at the Texas Motor Speedway.

F1’s Valtteri Bottas to compete in first-ever rally race in his native Finland

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Formula One’s “Flying Finn” is going back home for the first time.

More precisely, Valtteri Bottas is returning to his Finland homeland to compete in his first career rally race in the Finnish Rally Championship season opener.

Bottas, teammates on the F1 Mercedes team with five-time champ Lewis Hamilton, will compete in the World Rally Championships’ Arctic Lapland Rally from January 24-26.

He’ll team with two-time World Rally champion Timo Rautiainen in a M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC on rally roads of the Finnish Arctic Circle.

“This is a unique opportunity to take a peek into the world of rallying,” Bottas told Finnish rallying website Rallism.f1. “I would like to thank everyone who has made it possible.

“It’s totally new territory for me too, as I have no prior experience of a World Rally Car. Still, being the race car driver that I am, you always go flat out whatever the vehicle you’re driving in.”

Added Rautiainen, “In my life, I’ve sat in a rally car with only three drivers, but this is such an interesting mission that I just had to accept the challenge. I believe that for a talented wheelman like Valtteri, we’ll be able to establish a good basic driving routine in testing.”

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