Fran­chitti tips Chilton for top

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

Dario Fran­chitti be­lieves Bri­tish F1 con­vert Max Chilton has the ca­pac­ity to sur­prise his crit­ics as an Indycar rookie this sea­son.

Chilton com­pleted his first test for Chip Ganassi Rac­ing at Sonoma Race­way last week, and de­scribed his maiden ex­pe­ri­ence of the Chevro­let-pow­ered Dal­lara DW12 as “a bit of a shock”.

The ex-marus­sia F1 driver has turned to Amer­ica af­ter his stint as a Nis­san LMP1 driver ended with the ter­mi­na­tion of the Ja­panese mar­que’s pro­gramme.

Indycar leg­end Fran­chitti won four ti­tles and three In­di­anapo­lis 500 vic­to­ries dur­ing his ca­reer in the States and will work with Chilton as part of his role as an ad­vi­sor with Ganassi.

“He’s got the tools but it’s a steep learn­ing curve,” Fran­chitti said. “You don’t go from be­ing a rookie to Scott Dixon in six months, it doesn’t work that way. If he’s ever go­ing to achieve, he’ll need time.

“I think he’ll do a good job. I think he’ll sur­prise peo­ple and I’m look­ing for­ward to help­ing him do that.”

Chilton’s lim­ited pre-sea­son pro­gramme will also take in a maiden oval run at Fon­tana be­fore tests at Se­bring and Phoenix.

“I was quicker than I thought I would be,” Chilton said of the Sonoma test.

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