Scott “Thunder from Down Under” Dixon won the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak in Colorado on Saturday, after SA team-mate Tomas Scheckter’s race was ruined by a pit lane problem.
Scott “Thunder from Down Under” Dixon won the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak in Colorado on Saturday, after SA team-mate Tomas Scheckter’s race was ruined by a problem in the pit lane.
Dixon, who became the first two-time winner in the Indy Racing League this season, took the lead with 84 laps left and held off Tony Kanaan by slicing through heavy traffic to take his second career victory.
Tony Kanaan started from pole position and led the first tour of the oval. On the second lap, Helio Castroneves took the lead and spent the next 45 laps racing nose to tail and side by side with teammate Gil de Ferran.
De Ferran, who led the race twice, became the third driver to lead when he passed Castroneves on lap 48. De Ferran also led late in the race but his car was no match for the Toyota-powered Panoz G Force of Dixon. As each run progressed, de Ferran's car became more difficult to drive while Dixon's became stronger.
However, it was Scheckter – and not Dixon – who had the strongest car throughout the race. The 22-year-old Capetonian, who had been a frontrunner for two thirds of the race, was ruled out of the equation when his entry to the pitlane was blocked by Felipe Giafone’s car. During Giafone’s pit stop, the refuelling hose on his car would not disengage. The Brazilian’s car crept forward out of his pit bay and blocked Scheckter as the South African was heading to his pit lane crew. As a result, the young Capetonian had to leave the pitlane and lost a lap to the leaders.
"I was happy with today. The car was going very well. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of respect down the pit lane, and you get into situations like I got into. It was not necessary for either me or Felipe (Giaffone) to collide in the pits,” Scheckter said.
“Hopefully, the IRL authorities will look into the incident and things will be done (to stop it from happening again). I have to say well done to my team-mate (Scott Dixon),” he added. “We also had a good car. Unfortunately, we didn't have a one-two (finish), but we'll carry on working hard at it and make sure that we're there for the next race."
After fading to third late in the race, De Ferran lost another position in the pits on lap 166, when all of the frontrunners stopped for pit stops under the yellow flag. Dario Franchitti moved into third when his crew short-filled the car with fuel.
The Scot lined up in third when a caution period for a spin by his team-mate, Dan Wheldon, set up a final restart. With De Ferran’s car tucked under his gearbox, Franchitti faced several lapped cars separating him from Kanaan in second. Franchitti went high on the restart and was blocked by traffic, allowing De Ferran to make his move down low.
De Ferran finished third with Franchitti fourth when a single car accident involving Roger Yasukawa forced IRL officials to end the race under caution. "The rear wing suddenly fell off," said Yasukawa after he was examined and released from the infield care centre. "I lost all grip on the straight and hit the wall."
Original article from Car