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Last Updated: Monday, 6 December, 2004, 15:57 GMT
DiResta 'destined for greatness'
By Alasdair Lamont

DiResta has the talent to succeed according to Franchitti
DiResta has the talent to succeed according to Franchitti
Eighteen-year-old Scots racing driver Paul DiResta can emulate the success of his compatriots Dario Franchitti, David Coulthard and Allan McNish.

So says his role model and cousin Franchitti after seeing DiResta pick up the McLaren Autosport BDRC Young Driver of the Year award as the youngest-ever winner.

Franchitti, a huge success in the United States in the Cart series and now the Indy Racing League, says the "sky is the limit" for his younger cousin if he fulfils his potential.

DiResta, from Bathgate in West Lothian, has been signed up for next season by McLaren's Formula One engine partner Mercedes, with which he will compete in the Formula Three Euroseries.

He finished third in the Formula Renault UK Championship this year and appears to have a promising future in motorsport.

"Getting involved with Mercedes, who have a great development programme, is fantastic," said Franchitti.

"If he gets out on the track and does what he's been doing every year he's been racing, the sky's the limit. He's in a very good position right now.

"He might make it in America, he might do it in F1 or in sports cars like Allan McNish, that depends on the opportunity he gets.

"But talent-wise, it's not an issue. He has the talent to do anything he wants."

I saw a spark in Dario as a youngster, but I see a bigger spark in Paul.
Paul DiResta's father Louis
DiResta began kart racing at the age of eight but was driving karts "long before that".

He could scarcely fail to have motor racing blood in his veins. As well as the Franchitti influence, dad Louis won four Scottish Formula Ford championships.

"It's definitely in the blood," said DiResta. "Also, the family are so close, they're 100% behind me and everybody wants each other to do as well as possible."

DiResta is in no doubt about the direction he wants his career to go.

"Some people do subjects at school to get jobs. I was always more interested in karting and a future in motorsport," he added.

"I want to go as high as I possibly can. I live for motorsport and any path - F1 would be great - but any form of motorsport at a high level of competition is my ultimate aim."

Louis DiResta, who stopped driving to concentrate on helping with Paul's career, certainly has faith in his offspring.

"Paul's done better at karting than Jenson Button, David Coulthard and Dario," he said.

Franchitti has had great success in the USA
Franchitti has had great success in the USA
"I saw a spark in Dario as a youngster, but I see a bigger spark in Paul.

"The only thing he's lacking is the support of someone like Jackie Stewart. He helped Dario, David and all the successful Scots in recent times.

"He came up and congratulated Paul on his award on Sunday night and if he can provide Paul with the opportunities the others had, there's nothing he can't achieve."

And there may be more to come from this particular family dynasty.

Dario's younger brother Marino is already an established driver and Paul's 15-year-old brother Stefan is carving out a name for himself in karting as the Franchitti/DiResta clan seek world dominance.

Button takes top motorsport award
06 Dec 04 |  Motorsport

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