Scott Dixon finished eighth in the first IndyCar race at Detroit this weekend after an untimely red flag upset his chances of victory.
Qualifying 11th, Dixon opted to start the race on the more durable primary tyres, aware that the faster red tyres would not last as long as desired.
Thus, the Kiwi was able to scythe through the top order, who started on red tyres, and in a matter of laps he had passed Will Power for the race lead.
Dixon then stormed away from the field, establishing a healthy margin over the red tyre runners.
However, a near 20 second lead over the lead cars on the alternative strategy for Dixon vanished on lap 25 when Felix Rosenqvist crashed heavily.
Rosenqvist’s McLaren pummeled the tyre wall at a rate of speed due to a stuck throttle.
The damage to the barrier was severe and Rosenqvist was excavated from the wreckage in some slight pain.
IndyCar’s Dr Geoffrey Billows said Rosenqvist was “conscious and alert the entire time.”
After three laps of ambling behind the safety car, the race was red-flagged.
For Dixon, the consequence of not pitting before the accident meant he was shuffled back in the running order as the field sorted itself out.
However, a stout recovery drive had Dixon climb back into a strong position and was high as sixth at one stage after being as low as 17th.
Scott McLaughlin’s race was ruined when he clipped the wall and bent his steering.
He finished three laps down in 19th.
The race was halted for a second time five laps from the finish when Romain Grosjean clattered the kerb at turn nine and hit the wall.
Dixon was in 11th at the time of the restart, though the real drama was happening at the front of the field.
Erstwhile race leader Power was unable to re-fire his Penske while in the pits for the race restart.
The Australian’s best chance of a win so far this season slipped from his grasp and that gifted the lead to Marcus Ericsson.
Ericsson went on to pick up his first IndyCar race win despite starting the race in 15th.
It is also his first race win in any motor race since winning a GP2 feature race at the Nurburgring in 2013. He went on to spend several years in Formula 1 after that.
There will be another IndyCar race tomorrow starting at 4 am NZT.
|18||Dalton Kellett||+1 lap|
|19||Scott McLaughlin||+3 laps|
|20||Will Power||+3 laps|
|21||Ryan Hunter-Reay||+5 laps|
|22||Max Chilton||+5 laps|