I Just Know You’re Going to Find a Ride…

Au Revoir, Au Revoir, Franckie!

AU REVOIR, SIMONE!

The French contingent of the IndyCar Series is going up from none to two next week in Sonoma.  In addition to Nelson Philippe, who has already been confirmed for Conquest for both Infine-yawn and Chicagoland, Andretti Green announced today that they’re adding a fifth car for Franck Montagny for the race

Montagny has done some stuff.  He ran for Aguri Suzuki’s F1 team for about half of a season, but didn’t do much.  He’s driven in a couple of 24 Hours of Le Mans for Peugeot.  He even started at Long Beach last year for Forsythe Racing in the Champ Car Finale, finishing second to Will Power. 

The only thing I can really find that he *won* was the 2003 World Series by Nissan championship, besting Heikki Kovalainen among others (including IRL legend Didier Andre in two races).

Of course, there’s one Frenchman who would bring more credibility to the Series than these two, and his name is Sebastien Bourdais.  It amazes me how so many fans of this Series will relentlessly bash him, but the simple fact of the matter is that he was the Champ Car Champ the year prior to unification.  It’s always been a shame that he wasn’t around for it, and quite honestly, done some semblance of damage to a unified series. 

Oh, and the car will be sponsored by AFS (Automatic Fire Sprinklers), who has been associated with the AFS/AGR Indy Lights program and sponsored Marco at Long beach.


7 Responses to “I Just Know You’re Going to Find a Ride…”

  1. Leigh O'Gorman Says:

    5 cars???
    Are AGR trying to redefine the tern “stretching ourselves a bit thin..”?

  2. Roy Hobbson Says:

    It’s too bad Simone was married to an enraged lumberjack who looked like the bearded villain from Superman II. You reap what you sow, Simone.

    Wait … what were we talking about?

  3. Filipe Says:

    Franck is a first rate talent. His half a dozen F1 starts were in 5 year old chassis, no one would anything with that.

    World Series is kinda of european Atlantic, a ladder series to nowhere that keep a lot of kids busy and whose cars aren’t really much worse than the official F1 feeder series (current F1 drivers that won a title there: Alonso, Kovalainen and Kubica; Vettel was leading the 2007 season when he got his F1 ride). Montagny actually won it twice 2001 and 2003. Curiously his runner-up in 2001 was Tomas Scheckter.

    AGR ALMS team clearly improved after they dropped Herta/Fittipaldi for him and who else was available to run as the other driver (even with De Ferran making the grid more competitive) and I believe Michael decide at the time that if either Danica or Formula Dream left and he find a sponsor to replace them, Montagny would be his first option.

    TK (who won the ALMS Laguna race with Montagny) must be really happy the team finally found someone else who knows how to set up a car.

    I’d argue if this becomes a full-time ride next season that he is the best european driver to arrive in AOW since Justin Wilson.

  4. The Speedgeek Says:

    Hey, there, Montagny. Didn’t you know that this here series is the private hangout of the Satan’s Helpers?

  5. Anon Says:

    They should let TK have the Automatic Fire Sprinklers sponsorship. Hell, maybe they could throw in some equipment to help him out while they’re at it. Where was this sponsorship when Quattro needed it a couple of years ago at Vision?

  6. Dex Says:

    AGR know what they are getting with Montagny, he has won races for them in the ALMS in 2008. He tested at Kentucky for them last Sepetember. He was fastetst on both days he was there when the CCWS went to Sebring in early 2008, going faster than all of the other drivers people seem to want in the car.

    Filipe is right, he is a big talent and deserves a chance in the series.

  7. Oblio Says:

    SeaBass will be back, I think… but not before next season. Although I was not his biggest fan during his Champ Car seasons, my wife and I were hugely supportive of him in Toro Rosso livery. The more I learned about his classic Gallic temperment, the more I came to admire him and now have a much better appreciation of his talents.

    As for AGR in general, I think Mr. Andretti has a bad case of ADD… their whole program seems to be is a constant non-linear brodie… smoke and noise, but no real direction except circular. If he lets Lady D slip away to the tin-top gang, AGR will have lost their only real press release fodder. We’ll see.