Scott Dixon says he feels ready to put an end to Penske’s dominance at Indianapolis with the momentum from his victory at Texas to serve as a motivator for the Kiwi to challenge for a maiden victory at the hallowed circuit.
While Dixon has once claimed victory in IndyCar’s blue riband event – The Indy 500 – the five-time series champion is yet to taste champagne at the race’s younger brother – the GMR Grand Prix.
First held back in 2014, the Grand Prix often serves as the curtain raiser for the Indy 500 on the second weekend of May, but the global pandemic has meant the both event’s have been postponed with the GP now set to be staged on July 5 NZT.
Dixon has finished second in the past three runnings of the Grand Prix, a tally he aims not to add to this weekend.
“With the Indy GP, we have finished second a lot” said Dixon ahead of the weekend. “It’s a bit frustrating.
“Last year, we dominated the race until we didn’t make the adjustment on tires. We were a sitting duck the last five laps. I really like that track. It’s fun to race on. If you have a fast car, you can move to the front.
“The frustration over the past few years of not pulling a win off at Indy on the road course has been tough. It’s a lot of inspiration.”
But with the Kiwi soaring high after a crushing victory at the season-opener in Texas, Dixon says the team morale at Chip Ganassi Racing is as at a peak and is what can prove be the definitive factor in setting up a competitive car or being mired down in the pack.
“Texas was an oval and this is a road course, but that momentum whenever you can win as far as a team is huge,” Dixon added. “For Chip Ganassi, across the board, Felix [Rosenqvist] and Marcus [Ericsson] we were all going to be in the top seven. That is tough to do and it’s really good for team morale.
“The process we have been doing in the offseason, hopefully that applies to the road courses as well. At Texas, it was the first time working with Mike Cannon as the engineer. Hopefully, we can keep this ball rolling and one of us on the tean get another win.”
Post Dixon’s Texas victory, it was revealed that the drink bottle function on all three Chip Ganassi cars had failed during the race.
Temperatures are forecasted to exceed 30 degrees during the race at Indianapolis which could bod a problem for Dixon should his cooling and drink functions fail again.
“That was frustrating,” he said. “I was pleasantly surprised at the road course test (COTA in February) how cool the car was.
“As a series, we have done well to make sure there is adequate cooling in the car as well.”
The GMR Grand Prix of Indy is slated to begin from 4 am NZT Sunday, July 5 in the first of five races across 15 days for the championship.