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Franchitti mourning loss of friend and countryman McRae

The death of former World Rally Champion Colin McRae and three passengers in a helicopter crash hit close to home for IndyCar Series champ Dario Franchitti. A helicopter pilot himself, Franchitti counted countryman McRae a close friend, writes John Oreovicz.

Updated: September 18, 2007, 5:39 PM ET
By John Oreovicz | Special to ESPN.com

The death of former World Rally Champion Colin McRae in a Sept. 15 helicopter crash shocked the entire motorsports world. But it hit particularly close to home for Dario Franchitti.

Like McRae, the recently crowned IndyCar Series champion hails from Scotland, and Franchitti credits his countryman for sparking his own interest in aviation. Dario often pilots his own helicopter to races from his U.S. base near Nashville, Tenn.

"Colin was really a good friend of mine ...

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