Skip to content

Special: A Family Affair for di Resta, Franchittis

May 20, 2013, 11:30 AM EST

MF DF PDR SUTTON Images 2

Editor’s Note: Two of racing’s biggest events take place on Sunday – the Monaco Grand Prix, which airs live on NBC Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET, and the Indianapolis 500. One family has a particular interest in both races. They will be the squads that form the Franchitti/di Resta clan.

Guest contributor Andy Hallbery, a former editor for both Autosport and RACER magazines, had the opportunity to speak to Force India’s Paul di Resta over the weekend, and files this report. Image to the right is courtesy of Sutton Images.

Paul di Resta, fresh off the back of fourth place in Bahrain for the Grand Prix, heads to Monaco – where he now calls home – aiming for his first F1 podium. Meanwhile across the ‘Pond’, his cousin Dario Franchitti will be preparing for the Indy 500. A win would be his fourth at the hallowed track, and place him well within the list of Indy legends.

“I would say we speak at least once a week, maybe twice,” says di Resta. “It will either be a conversation or a series of dodgy emails flying backwards and forwards!

“We have more of a brother relationship than a cousin,” he adds. “It’s a shame that he lives the other side of the water, but the relationship is obviously very close. He’s been very supportive of my career as I have to his, and it’s nice to have that. But essentially when we’re actually together we don’t speak about racing because it’s family. It’s a completely different conversation.”

Paul is feeling his years, despite only being 27. It’s Bump Day at Indy, but he has other things on his mind. (“I must speak with Dario today. He turns 40!”)

“I’ve not actually been to an IndyCar race,” he admits. “The last time I went it was a CART race. That was 11 years ago, so I was 16. That’s a long time ago, but that’s what happens when you get racing yourself and how it pans out. I was trying to get to Detroit this year.  It’s just so difficult to schedule. But he finishes a lot earlier than us this year, so I think he should come to our races more.”

Despite his advancing years, Franchitti shows absolutely no sign of stopping racing, and it doesn’t take much of an imagination to see him, his brother Marino, and cousin Paul taking on Le Mans. One day…

“That would be nice, but where we all are at the moment, it’s difficult to do. Obviously Marino’s into the sportscars, and Dario’s coming to that bit of his life – he’s been quite open. He’s succeeded with what he wanted to do in America. So he needs to back it off a little bit. And I’m obviously a few years away from that, but if the right opportunity arose, I think we’d probably do something.”

As for Paul following his cousin Dario’s footsteps to America, well, don’t hold your breath. “I would have a go at a street track,” he says, before adding. “I have got no interest in ovals. They scare me a bit. Until I got to Formula 1 I was quite open about it because of what Dario had done. But a few things set that back… When Dario stops – and that’s no time soon I think – there will be a kind of relief from us. That’s not something we talk about.”

The Monaco Grand Prix airs live on NBC at 7:30 a.m. ET, with pre- and post-race coverage on the NBC Sports Network. Meanwhile across the pond, the Indy 500 telecast begins at 11 a.m. ET, with the race at noon ET, on ABC.

Latest Posts
  1. Sam Bird tops Formula E practice in Malaysia

    Nov 21, 2014, 8:27 PM EST

    AUTO-FORMULAE-CHN Getty Images

    The Virgin Racing pilot takes top honors in a 75-minute practice session ahead of qualifying and tonight’s Putrajaya ePrix.

  2. NASCAR AMERICA: A well-deserved title for Kevin Harvick (VIDEO)

    Nov 21, 2014, 7:00 PM EST

    NASCAR Champions Portraits Getty Images

    Kevin Harvick and his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team had to go through a lot in 2014 to win the Sprint Cup title. NASCAR AMERICA’s Rick Allen and Kyle Petty discuss.

  3. NASCAR AMERICA: The final pit strategies of the Championship 4 (VIDEO)

    Nov 21, 2014, 6:00 PM EST

    Credit: Joe Cavaretta/Sun Sentinel/MCT Credit: Joe Cavaretta/Sun Sentinel/MCT

    Kevin Harvick’s four-tire call late at Homestead proved to be the difference in his title-clinching victory last weekend. NASCAR AMERICA discuss how pit strategy made an impact.

  4. NASCAR: John Wes Townley to run full-time trucks, part-time XFINITY in 2015

    Nov 21, 2014, 4:48 PM EST

    UNOH 225 Getty Images

    His Athenian Motorsports team will switch to Chevrolet and get Hendrick engines for its dual programs.

  5. Kevin Magnussen not seeing Abu Dhabi as battle for survival at McLaren

    Nov 21, 2014, 3:15 PM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Practice Getty Images

    Magnussen on his future with McLaren: “I honestly assume that no decision has been made on the management level so far, but I would deny that this race is something of a shoot-out.”

  6. Watch NASCAR America 5 pm ET – Final Scan All 43 – Championship Edition

    Nov 21, 2014, 3:00 PM EST

    nascar america

    You say you need a NASCAR fix? Well, don’t worry, Friday is the final installment of our NASCAR America – Scan All 43 episodes, entitled “NASCAR America: Scan All 43 – Championship Edition.”

  7. Abu Dhabi GP Paddock Notebook – Friday

    Nov 21, 2014, 2:30 PM EST

    Lewis Hamilton AP

    Lewis Hamilton sent out a statement of intent during practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix today, beating Nico Rosberg in both practice sessions.

  8. Kristensen’s retirement leaves a void bigger than just a race seat

    Nov 21, 2014, 2:15 PM EST

    FRA-AUTO-LEMANS Getty Images

    Replacing Tom Kristensen will be no easy task at Audi.

  9. Alonso anticipating hardest qualifying of 2014 in Abu Dhabi

    Nov 21, 2014, 1:45 PM EST

    Fernando Alonso AP

    Electrical failure in FP2 robs the Spaniard of some much-needed track time after sunset in Abu Dhabi.

  10. Mercedes drivers confident there is time to be found after Abu Dhabi practice

    Nov 21, 2014, 1:15 PM EST

    Lewis Hamilton AP

    Hamilton and Rosberg leaving nothing in reserve as they fight for the F1 drivers’ championship in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

  11. Jimmie Johnson: Kevin Harvick winning Sprint Cup title was “the right thing”

    Nov 21, 2014, 1:00 PM EST

    Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick AP

    The six-time champ says a title victory for Ryan Newman last weekend at Homestead “would have been tough to swallow for the sport.”

  12. Sports car notes: Emerson Fittipaldi to return to racing in Brazil, and more

    Nov 21, 2014, 12:45 PM EST

    2013 Laureus World Sports Awards Nominations Getty Images

    Emerson Fittipaldi to a race a Ferrari F458 Italia in Brazil next week, plus two PWC notes.

  13. GP2: Vandoorne claims fourth straight pole position in Abu Dhabi

    Nov 21, 2014, 12:30 PM EST

    © GP2 Media © GP2 Media

    McLaren junior driver becomes the first in GP2 history to score four poles in a row.

  14. 2014 F1 championship showdown preview: Nico Rosberg

    Nov 21, 2014, 12:00 PM EST

    AUTO-PRIX-F1-ABU-DHABI-PRESSER Getty Images

    Part two of the championship profiles sees us take a look at Nico Rosberg’s rise through Formula 1 and to within reach of the world championship. Can he follow in his father’s footsteps and win the title?

  15. GP3: Alex Lynn wins championship after qualifying in Abu Dhabi

    Nov 21, 2014, 11:30 AM EST

    © GP3 Media Service © GP3 Media Service

    Red Bull junior driver picks up the championship in Abu Dhabi, and is now targeting a move up to F1 in 2015.

  16. 2014 F1 championship showdown preview: Lewis Hamilton

    Nov 21, 2014, 11:00 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Practice Getty Images

    In the first half of our articles profiling the championship contenders, we take a look at the leader, Lewis Hamilton, ahead of Sunday’s showdown in Abu Dhabi.

  17. Grosjean handed 20-place grid penalty in Abu Dhabi

    Nov 21, 2014, 10:00 AM EST

    AUTO-PRIX-F1-ABU-DHABI-PRACTICE Getty Images

    Stewards in Abu Dhabi penalize the Frenchman after changes are made to his engine on Friday.

Video from NASCAR America

Most unexpected event of 2014?
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. K. Harvick (1951)
  2. R. Newman (1911)
  3. J. Gordon (1846)
  4. J. Logano (1805)
  5. J. Johnson (1804)
  1. D. Hamlin (1780)
  2. M. Kenseth (1426)
  3. K. Larson (1375)
  4. T. Stewart (1337)
  5. B. Keselowski (1288)