Reigning IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500 champion Scott Dixon has been named as the Sportsman of the Year award during the annual Halberg Awards ceremony in his native New Zealand.

The awards, organized by the Halberg Trust, recognise outstanding achievement by New Zealand sports men, women, teams and coaches over the previous twelve months.

Dixon beat off competition from rivals including Olympic gold medallist Tom Ashley, silver medallist Hayden Roulston and US Amateur Golf champion Danny Lee.

"I was a little disappointed that I wasn't able to make it down," Dixon said. "To be honest, I wasn't ever sure that I would win that award. So, needless to say, I am over the moon that I did.

"A huge thanks to my family and the many supporters I had a long the way. Without them, none of this would have been possible. 2008 was a great year for me and my wife, and it looks like 2009 is starting off great as well."

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