That sink-in feeling

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Dario Franchitti: He’d drunk the milk and done the interviews, but only after some sober reflection the next day did the full impact of his Indy 500 win dawn on him

I’ve won the Indy 500! I don’t want that to sound arrogant. That’s not how it’s meant. Far from it: it’s been a truly humbling experience. I’ve said it here because I still don’t believe it. Perhaps I will when I read this page in my copy of Motor Sport, a magazine I grew up with.

There was a moment on the Monday morning after the race when it began to hit me. By then, I’d already drunk the milk in Victory Lane and done almost four hours of interviews and live TV. I finished at 11pm, but still found time to celebrate – six more hours in fact, which wasn’t such a good idea when my first scheduled appointment with the media was at 8am the next morning. But what the hell! You can’t finish the day you win Indy by going to bed early, can you?

I wasn’t feeling my best, I’ll admit, but it was worth it. The day was gruelling and it reminded me of something Scott Dixon had said after the race: “Tomorrow you’ll realise which part of this job you get paid for, and that in reality you race for free.”

But the moment, for me, came at about 11am: the traditional photo shoot of the car, me, the garland and the trophy on the yard of bricks at the start/finish line. For the first hour I was standing in the cockpit as the team, sponsors, pit crew, family and so on came along for shots. I must have worn more than a hundred caps and shaken hundreds of hands. Then came the time for me to stand with the trophy for the next set of shots. 

This is going to sound crazy, but I had never before looked at the trophy – even though this had been my fifth Indy 500. I think it’s bad luck to look at a trophy before a race. You’ll often see me with my hands over my eyes in drivers’ meeting so that I can’t see it. That’s why that Monday morning hit me hard. I stopped, finally looked at the Borg-Warner Trophy, saw the faces and names on it, and realised that I will be there next year, that I’m going to be on the same Indy 500 trophy as Jim Clark. That’s a moment I had dreamed about.

Clark was my hero when I grew up. He died before I was born, but I’ve read a lot about him. And when I drove for Paul Stewart Racing in Formula Vauxhall and F3, Jackie Stewart was my boss and he told me a lot about Jim, too. 2005 was the 40th anniversary of his Indy win and I wanted to win that particular 500 more than anything. It didn’t happen [Dario finished sixth after leading 15 laps] and that was a disappointment, because I really could have done it that year.

I had a quick car again this year, but I was fifth when the rain stopped the race on lap 113. My Andretti Green team-mates were 1-2-3, with my great friend Tony Kanaan in first. I’m sure they wanted the race to be stopped there and then. And I would have been happy for the team. But I knew I had a car that was better than fifth.

When the race restarted after a three-hour delay, I had a cut in a tyre and had to pit. That put me on a different strategy to the rest, but by then I had a rocket ship of a car. I charged from 14th. It was great. I could reel them in, pass safely, move up to the next one… 

You know, of course, how it ended. So please forgive me for using this space to acknowledge what this win means to me. 

As a Scotsman, Jackie Stewart has not only been my team boss in days gone by, he’s a hero, too. He called me during practice to ask how it was going. I told him this and that, and he made a suggestion. We did it – and it worked! He’s been out of the cockpit for more than 30 years, but he’s still got it.

For me, though, Jim Clark is the man. He has been a role model to me. I’m in the process of renovating a house, and whereas before I would have racing stuff all over the place, this time I’m limiting it to one room: a Jim Clark-themed bathroom. I even went to buy some tiles – for the first and only time, I promise you. They had to match the colour of Jim’s crash helmet. That’s a tough blue to find, trust me.

Winning at Indianapolis truly is a moment to savour. As a kid, my younger brother Marino and I had a Bobby Rahal poster from Indy on our bedroom wall. Never in a million years did I think I’d get to drink the milk as he did. I dreamed and hoped – but never thought it would happen.

Yet here I am, still pinching myself, in Motor Sport as the winner of the Indianapolis 500.Two privileges in one. Who would have thought it?