Bathgate’s Dario Franchitti has confirmed his retirement from motorsport on medical grounds. The four-time IndyCar champion suffered two fractured vertebrae, a broken ankle and a concussion in a high-speed accident at the Houston Grand Prix last month, and can no longer safely compete in the dangerous world of motorsport.

In a statement on his website, Franchitti said:- “One month removed from the crash and based upon the expert advice of the doctors who have treated and assessed my head and spinal injuries post accident, it is their best medical opinion that I must stop racing. They have made it very clear that the risks involved in further racing are too great and could be detrimental to my long term well-being. Based on this medical advice, I have no choice but to stop.

“I’ll forever look back on my time racing in CART and the IndyCar Series with fond memories and the relationships I’ve forged in the sport will last a lifetime.

“Hopefully in time, I’ll be able to continue in some off-track capacity with the IndyCar Series. I love open-wheel racing and I want to see it succeed. I’ll be working with Chip to see how I can stay involved with the team, and with all the amazing friends I’ve made over the years at Target.”

Franchitti, 40, has had an impressive career in motorsport. As well as his four IndyCar titles, he won the Indianapolis 500 three times, most recently in 2012. He retires with 31 victories in American open-wheel racing.

Formula 1 driver Paul di Resta, who is Franchitti’s cousin, spoke to Press Association Sport ahead of the United States Grand Prix this weekend about the star:- “I can’t speak highly enough of his achievements. Tremendously proud, successful, a legend. What else is there to say? More so being part of the family.

“That’s the thing that will keep Dario going, the fact he can come racing with the likes of me and Marino (Franchitti’s younger brother). Being part of all that will drive him on.

“And he has a lot to offer to a racing team as an ambassador. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t stay in the sport, as a consultant, a mentor. He will be a credit to somebody’s team.”