15 July 2013
Scott Dixon celebrates a double top in Toronto
Scott Dixon proved unassailable for the second time in 24 hours in Canada, claiming back-to-back wins in the Honda Indy Toronto to pick up a $100,000 bonus to cap his perfect weekend.
Does anyone need any further convincing that Ganassi are well and truly back in the game after a poor start to the 2013 season? If so, then try a dominating win for Scott Dixon in the second of the two Honda Indy Toronto double header races to make it three consecutive victories in eight days.
It's the first time anyone has done that in Indy competition since Al Unser won five on the trot in 1969, which had included back-to-back double header weekends at Indianapolis and Langhorne.
"It's been a long time since I've had such a dominant day," Dixon said in victory lane after another gruelling two hour stint in the cockpit. "I think it's been since, '03 or '08, I don't know, since we've had that kind of run. I'm just so happy for the team. Second place in the points now. What a turnaround in a couple of weeks. It's a big difference."
Just 24 hours after running 85 laps in downtown Toronto, the field shaped up to do it all over again on Sunday afternoon. And where the previous day had seen Justin Wilson hit problems leaving pit road, today it was James Hinchcliffe's turn to suffer the same frustration, this time the result of a stuck throttle pedal leaving him idling on pit road as the rest of the cars headed for the start.
"I was just going through the routine of the standing start, and as soon as I put my thumb on the throttle it stuck 100 percent, and that was about a minute before they gave the command," he explained. "We tried WD40, but unfortunately that wasn't the magic fix, and we had to replace the pedal and went three laps down right off the bat. Then we had no yellows to help us out; we ran around in the back all day.
"Obviously gutted for the team and for GoDaddy, but more than anyone for the fans," said the local hero. "It sucks for everyone that came out today. I was hoping for better in my hometown. But we weren't going to give up - I wanted to go out, finish the race and get any points we could."
That meant Hinchcliffe missed out on the IZOD IndyCar Series' second attempt at a standing start, and this time - with the exception of Ed Carpenter briefly unable to get away when the lights went green - it all went according to plan, polesitter Scott Dixon leading the field down the straight into turn 1. Behind him the two Penske cars of Helio Castroneves and Will Power got the jump on Dixon's team mate and fellow front row man Dario Franchitti pushing the Scot into fourth by the first corner, which saw contact that damaged the #10's front right wing and left Franchitti limping back to pit road for a replacement and falling to the back of the field, but he was just able to avoid going a lap down in the process.
"I was trying not to lose too many positions, and I was on the outside in Turn 1, and we kind of checked up," Franchitti explained after the race. "I just got in the back of Helio, and I couldn't avoid it. It was just a racing incident - my mistake. After that, qualifying lap was every lap. I came in the pits with the Target boys, and then I was off. It was just as hard as I could go every lap. I mean, the car was really, really good. It's a real shame."
The race quickly settled down into a groove, with Dixon stretching out a lead over Castroneves and Power, followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay ahead of Sebastien Bourdais and Tony Kanaan. Unlike race 1, all of the top ten runners were on the same initial tyre choice of soft compound red-wall tyre. Behind them, the best battle on track in the early stages was between EJ Viso and Alex Tagliani for seventh place.
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