Scott Dixon

Born:
22nd July 1980 (Age 38)
Brisbane, Queensland (AUS)
Nationality:
New Zealander
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

New Zealand has a proud tradition in Grand Prix racing but had not tasted such success at Indianapolis until May 25 2008. That was the day Scott Dixon crossed the hallowed line of bricks to score his greatest victory thus far. Now a five-time IndyCar champion, Dixon ranks among the modern greats of that discipline.

Family background and early racing career

With parents who both raced dirt cars, it was little surprise that he wanted to race from an early age. And he was immediately successful by winning the national Formula Vee Championship in 1994 when only 13 years old.

Dixon quickly gained a reputation as the country’s brightest prospect. He won the 1996 New Zealand Formula Ford title before transferring to Australia’s Formula Holden Championship. Rookie of the Year in 1997 when third in the points, the outright title followed a year later.

Move to North America

Formula 1 may have been Dixon’s original goal but he moved to America and Indy Lights to progress. A promising debut with Johansson Motorsports was followed by a switch to PacWest Racing and further title success in 2000.

Dixon graduated to Champ Cars with the team and it took just three races of 2001 for the New Zealander to win at Nazareth and become the youngest winner in major open-wheel racing at 20 years 9 months and 14 days old. The year ended with Dixon eighth in the points and Rookie of the Year in yet another series.

PacWest ran out of money early in 2002 but Dixon was picked up by Chip Ganassi’s expanded Champ Car operation. It was a disappointingly and winless campaign before team and driver defected to the rival Indy Racing League for 2003.

Indycars with Chip Ganassi Racing

That season could not have started better with Dixon winning the opening round at Homestead. Five pole positions and another two victories gave Dixon the IndyCar Series title at the first attempt although that was followed by two difficult seasons which only included one win (at Watkins Glen in 2005).

The arrival of reigning champion Dan Wheldon to Ganassi for 2006 seemed to re-awake Dixon’s competitive juices and he won twice to finish fourth in the points. He only lost the 2007 title to Andretti Green’s Dario Franchitti when he ran out of fuel on the last corner of the final race.

Indianapolis 500 and title success

But he put that right in style a year later. The Indianapolis 500 was one of six victories as Dixon clinched the 2008 Indycar title. Franchitti was Dixon’s Ganassi team-mate in 2009 and they contested the title once more with the Scot again triumphing at the final round.

Franchitti was now at the top of his game and he won further titles in 2010 and 2011. Although Dixon won races, he struggled to match his team-mate on a regular basis and finished third in both years. Seemingly always unlucky during 2012, he won twice to finish third in the standings once more.

Dixon's 2013 campaign began slowly although leading a Ganassi 1-2-3 at Pocono in July set the New Zealander on the road to a third Indycar series success. He won both races at the following weekend's Toronto double-header and overhauled Penske's Hélio Castroneves by the end of the season.

Third in the championship a year later (and with Franchitti now retired), Dixon won the final round at Sears Point to tie Juan Pablo Montoya in the 2015 standings. However, having won three times to Montoya's two victories, it was Dixon who claimed the Indycar title for a fourth time.

Dixon won the second race of 2016 at Phoenix's one-mile oval and spent the early months as Simon Pagenaud's closest challenger. Victory in Toronto was lost due to an in-opportune safety car as bad luck derailed his title defense. Dixon won the penultimate round at Watkins Glen but sixth overall was his lowest championship position in a decade.

He enjoyed a consistent campaign during 2017 with his narrow victory at Elkhart Lake among seven podium finishes. He qualified on pole position for the Indianapolis 500 only to crash heavily during the race. Just three points behind Team Penske's Josef Newgarden before the Sears Point decider, Dixon slipped to third in the standings when he could only finish the race in fourth position.

Fifth IndyCar title for Chip Ganassi

Now In his fifteenth full season with Chip Ganassi Racing, Dixon scored his first podium finishes of 2018 in the Indianapolis Grand Prix and 500 before winning at Detroit (race one), Texas and Toronto. Successive third-place finishes at Pocono and St Louis saw the New Zealander enter the final race at Sears Point In the championship lead. He drove a conservative race in California to seal his fifth IndyCar Series title.

Formula 1 test and sports car success

The closest Dixon came to fulfilling his youthful F1 ambitions were tests with Williams-BMW in 2004. He also made his Daytona 24 Hours debut that year and won the race two years later when sharing Ganassi’s Riley MkXI-Lexus with Wheldon and Casey Mears. That was a success he repeated in 2015 with Ganassi's Riley-Ford, Tony Kanaan and Kyle Larsson.

He made his debut at Le Mans in 2016 when sharing Ganassi's Ford GT with Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook. They finished third in class as the sister car won on the marque's return.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2018/2019 World Endurance Championship
Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA
1 0 0 0 0
2018 Verizon IndyCar Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
17 1 9 3
18% win rate
1st 678
2017 Verizon IndyCar Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
17 1 7 1
6% win rate
3rd 621
2017 World Endurance Championship
Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA
1 0 0 0 0
2016 Verizon IndyCar Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
16 2 4 2
13% win rate
6th 477
2016 World Endurance Championship
Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA
1 0 0 0 0
2015 Tudor United Sportscar Championship
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
1 0 1 1 0
2015 Verizon IndyCar Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
16 2 4 3
19% win rate
1st 556
2014 Verizon IndyCar Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
18 1 4 2
12% win rate
3rd 604
2013 IZOD IndyCar Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
19 2 6 4
22% win rate
1st 577
2012 IZOD IndyCar Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
15 1 6 2
14% win rate
3rd 435
2011 IZOD IndyCar Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
17 (1) 2 9 2
12% win rate
3rd 518
2010 IZOD IndyCar Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
17 0 5 3
18% win rate
3rd 547
2009 IRL IndyCar Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
17 2 10 5
30% win rate
2nd 605
2008 IRL IndyCar Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
17 7 12 6
36% win rate
1st 646
2007 IRL IndyCar Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
17 2 10 4
24% win rate
2nd 624
2006 IRL IndyCar Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
14 1 6 2
15% win rate
4th 460
2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
1 0 1 1 0
2005 IRL IndyCar Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
17 0 1 1
6% win rate
13th 321
2004 IRL IndyCar Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
15 0 1 0
0% win rate
10th 355
2003 IRL IndyCar Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
16 5 8 3
19% win rate
1st 507
2002 FedEx Championship Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
PacWest Racing Group
19 0 1 0
0% win rate
13th 97
2001 FedEx Championship Series
PacWest Racing Group
20 (1) 0 2 1
5% win rate
8th 98
2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship 12 1 7 6
50% win rate
1st 155
1999 PPG/Dayton Indy Lights Championship 12 1 4 1
9% win rate
5th 88
1998 Australian Formula Holden Championship 1st -