Tomas Scheckter’s steady drive in the Purex Dial Indy 200 in Phoenix ended in frustration on Sunday when the Capetonian collided with Felipe Giaffone while battling for third place.

Tomas Scheckter’s steady drive in the Purex Dial Indy 200 in Phoenix ended in frustration on Sunday when the Capetonian collided with Felipe Giaffone while battling for third place.

There were 10 caution (yellow flag) periods during the incident-packed 200-lap race, including six for incidents on the track, two for mechanical and two for debris. Only 12 (of 22 starters) finished the contest.

Scheckter had methodically climbed up to fourth from his eighth place starting spot. During a late race caution flag, Scheckter's team told him to “push for the win”.

On the restart a few laps later Scheckter was lying in fourth place. The 23-year old passed Giaffone on the outside of turn two, but the left rear of his Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota made contact with the Brazilian’s Hollywood Panoz G Force/Toyota. As a result Scheckter clobbered the wall side-on, but was not injured in the accident and was classified in 15th place.

"I got a run on the outside in turn two and I thought that I was passed him, until he hit me in the rear," said Scheckter. "The car wasn't perfect at the beginning of the race, but the guys kept working on it and it got better and better. Everyone at Target has done a great job and I'm proud to be a part of this team. The guys told me to go for the win and that's what I did."

"I went on the outside (of Giaffone) and I thought I was by, and I just got a bump in the middle of the corner and went into the wall. We'll just have to look at the video," he added.

At the start of the race, Scheckter’s team-mate, Scott Dixon, vaulted from third place on the grid to take the lead. Dixon, also known as the “Thunder from Down Under”, then led the next 34 laps and had full command of the race until a gearbox problem ended the team's bid for three straight Team Target victories.

Two drivers were injured in crashes on the track: rookie Roger Yasukawa complained of back pain after crashing his Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda on lap 100 and Gil de Ferran sustained concussion and possible lumbar injury after hitting the wall in his Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota.

Dixon lost the lead to Giaffone at the first round of pit stops on lap 34. Yasukawa took over the lead for five laps (and did not make his pit stop until lap 85), but handed the lead back to Giaffone on lap 40.

Veteran and former F1 driver Michael Andretti led for 23 laps in the 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda before Giaffone took over the top spot a second time, yielding to Tony Kanaan on his final pit stop. Kanaan and Helop Castroneves battled over the final quarter of the contest, passing each other within laps, but Castroneves led only a single tour.

The final caution flag, on lap 187, occurred when Andretti and De Ferran were battling for sixth spot. They squeezed one another to the point where there was contact coming out of turn 1 and, while it looked like Andretti had the harder contact with the wall; it was De Ferran’s car that sustained most damage. It took 10 laps to clean debris and carefully remove the 2000-2001 CART champion from his car, allowing a two-lap dash to the checkered flags.

In the end, Kanaan became the 30th different winner in the Indy Racing League's 73-race history by surviving the two-lap shootout with fellow Braziliains Castroneves and Giaffone.

The IndyCar Series continues in Japan next month for the IRL's first overseas race at Twin Ring Motegi.

Original article from Car