Dario Franchitti to be analyst on new Formula E series telecasts

1 Comment

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.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing

Benjamin Pedersen is the first driver to land a promotion from Indy Lights into IndyCar for next season as AJ Foyt Racing confirmed Wednesday he’ll be part of its 2023 lineup.

Pedersen, a 23-year-old dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, spent last season running the full Indy Lights schedule for HMD Motorsports. Linus Lundqvist, his teammate, won the Lights title, and Pedersen finished fifth in the final standings. Pedersen earned his only win earlier this month when he led every lap from the pole at Portland.

Pedersen also ran four races for HMD in 2021 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his debut. Pedersen landed on AJ Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt’s radar through a “trusted colleague” and Pedersen spent most of last season shadowing the IndyCar team.

His promotion to IndyCar comes ahead of all four drivers who finished ahead of him in the Indy Lights standings, including champion Lundqvist.

“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Larry Foyt said. “His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is 100 percent committed to IndyCar, AJ Foyt Racing, and doing the best he can to win races.

“It’s been great to have him embedded with the team this past season, and everyone is excited to hit the ground running when testing begins. It is also great to have a multi-year program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”

Foyt did not announce a car number for Pedersen. Kyle Kirkwood spent his rookie season driving AJ Foyt’s flagship No. 14 but Kirkwood is moving to Andretti Autosport. The team has not yet announced if Dalton Kellett will return for a fourth season, and a third car for Tatiana Calderon was pulled from competition after seven races because of sponsorship non-payment. Shutting down Calderon’s team removed the only semi-regular female driver from the IndyCar field.

Pedersen, however, was signed to an agreement Foyt said “spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop the young rookie and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing.”

Pedersen was born in Copenhagen but raised in Seattle and currently lives in Indianapolis. He said his time shadowing the IndyCar team has given him a jump on his rookie preparations.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this season with AJ Foyt Racing learning the ins and outs of making the jump to IndyCar and it’s been really nice to do that in conjunction with my Indy Lights season,” Pedersen said. “IndyCar has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”