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Scott Dixon wins twice in Toronto

Scott Dixon dominated both street races in Toronto last weekend, scoring his second and third wins in a row. Dixon led a 1-2-3 sweep for Chip Ganassi’s team in the previous weekend’s Pocono 400 and after a difficult start to the season both driver and team have finally hit their stride in recent weeks, showing strength on both a big superspeedway and a tight, rough street circuit.

indycar  Scott Dixon wins twice in Toronto

Dixon won Saturday’s race in Toronto in convincing style. After starting fifth he took the lead for the first time with 25 laps to go and pulled away to win comfortably after a brief tussle with Sebastien Bourdais. Dixon’s second win in a row moved him into third in IndyCar’s championship behind Hélio Castroneves and Marco Andretti and gave him a realistic hope of winning his first IndyCar title since 2008.

“We had perfect pitstops today,” Dixon said. “But we definitely had the speed as well. It was one of the those afternoons of waiting patiently to get the best out of it, but the car was fantastic. This is what we need to get the momentum going.”

Team-mate Dario Franchitti qualified on the pole for the first race in Toronto and led the opening laps, eventually finishing a close third behind Bourdais who drove his best race of the year. Bourdais drives these days for Roger Penske’s youngest son Jay’s team and a recent change of engineers helped the Frenchman run at the front in Toronto. He led 20 laps, battling hard with Dixon, Franchitti and Will Power.

indycar  Scott Dixon wins twice in Toronto

Franchitti was given a 25 second penalty for blocking Power on the last lap, but the penalty was rescinded after an appeal from Ganassi’s team. Power led almost 30 laps in the middle of the race but finished his day in the tyre barrier after trying to out-brake Franchitti at the end of the back stretch on the last lap.

Marco Andretti finished fourth with Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan taking fifth and championship leader Castroneves extending his point lead with sixth place. Defending champion Ryan Hunter-Reay lost ground to Castroneves and Dixon after a disastrous race. Hunter-Reay stalled in the pits on both stops, then slid into the tyre barriers while trying to out-brake teammate EJ Viso in the closing laps.

Dixon started Sunday’s race from the pole and led all the way, save for pitstops. Until a couple of full course yellows closed-up the field late in the race, he had pulled out a 15 second lead over championship rival Castroneves. In fact, the race finished under the yellow after a multi-car collision in the first turn on a restart eliminated Power, Hunter-Reay and Takuma Sato. So Dixon took his third win in a row, this time from Castroneves, Bourdais and Franchitti.

indycar  Scott Dixon wins twice in Toronto

“It was a little harder today,” Dixon commented. “The race was a little faster paced than yesterday’s. I was definitely trying to hang on there, but it’s great to have such a strong run here. We’re second in the points now, 29 behind Helio. What a turnaround in a couple of weeks! It’s a big deal for us. We’ll narrow it down now and try to go for the championship.”

Castroneves enjoyed his best race since winning in Texas last month and continues with a healthy point lead. “Scott was in a completely different league,” Castroneves said. “I was pushing as hard as I could. I had a very good car, but whatever he’s taking for breakfast, I want it!”

Bourdais was delighted to follow his second place on Saturday with an equally competitive run to third on Sunday. “I had a really good car on the restarts,” Bourdais said. “The car was really hooked up so I had to go for it.”

indycar  Scott Dixon wins twice in Toronto

Franchitti drove a great race to finish fourth on Sunday after having to stop for a new nose at the end of the opening lap. Dario collided with Castroneves in the first turn, damaging his right front wing, but he came through the field for a good finish and pulled himself into equal sixth in points with Tony Kanaan.

Dixon’s string of victories means he is now IndyCar’s leading active driver with 32 wins just ahead of Franchitti, Bourdais and Paul Tracy, each of whom have 31 wins. In his 13th year racing Indycars Dixon now is ranked seventh on the all-time winners list behind AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser and Al Unser Jr.

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indycar  Scott Dixon wins twice in Toronto

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4 comments on Scott Dixon wins twice in Toronto

  1. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The other one)), 15 July 2013 13:03

    Dixon behind Foyt, Andretti, Andretti, Unser, Unser and Unser?


    Big company…but not what would be called “A Golden Era” at the moment what with NASCAR Number 1 (In America) and world Sports Cars on a big up trend, etc.

    Franchitti being given a time penalty which, then, was later rescinded seemed totally “Mickey Mouse”.

    I mean why give him the penalty in the first instance? He gave Power more than a cars-width of room and if the stewards can’t decide soon, then it’s a marginal decision in the first place … so, then, why not make no decision. Seemed they needed helicopter shots to figure the thing out…and that seems silly.

    Anyway, I thought about taking in the action at the weekend. It was, however, swelteringly hot and humid and I figured I’d watch while enjoying the creature comforts of an air conditioned home.

    More a reflection of age and interest. I, as an example, used to jump at the chance of seeing the likes of Jacques Villeneuve whiz by following his Indy 500 win knowing he’d probably be driving a Williams-Renault in due time. Joys of Youth!

    For me, 1993-1995 was “a Golden Time”. Mansell, Andrettis, Emerson, Unser Jr., Villeneuve, et al…

    That was 20 years ago! Gosh how time flies.

  2. Russell Fairburn, 15 July 2013 17:45

    The early ’90s were, indeed, a “Golden Time” for IndyCar racing. I was re-watching the Phoenix race from 1994 recently and for a bit at the beginning of the race the leaders were Nigel Mansell,, Mario Andretti, Jacques Villeneuve, and Emerson Fittipaldi, who went on to win. Notice anything these 4 have in common? Compare that to the entry list in this weekend’s “race”.

  3. The Original Ray T, 15 July 2013 18:18

    Yes, not sure anyone can compare Indy Cars to CART era, two completely different leagues of competition.
    I’m just wondering how many cars JR Hildebrand is going to have to crash before his career finally ends in Indycars. Love it or hate it, the actual racing still puts F1 to shame.

  4. Ray In Toronto, Canada (Ray T (The other one)), 15 July 2013 19:55

    Hey there Original!

    Anyway, it all depends on your definition of “racing”.

    Mine is:

    1) Not having 24 or 26 Dallaras or whatever on the same grid;

    2) Not crashing regularly because you misjudged your breaking;

    3) At least 75 percent of the drivers having some semblence of spatial awareness; and, finally

    4) Being in a series where they don’t change the rules intra-race (to spice up an already contrived show).

    Hehe :)

    Don’t get me wrong, Original Ray T, the races were a much better alternative to watching the baseball game or the soccer match.


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