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Scott Dixon leads Ganassi one-two in disrupted Detroit IndyCar race

Scott Dixon, Ganassi, Detroit 2012Scott Dixon won a bizarre IndyCar race around the streets of Belle Isle in Detroit, where severe problems with the track surface forced a two-hour delay just as the event approached its scheduled halfway point.

Ganassi driver Dixon started from pole and led every lap, but the race will be remembered for the enormous strips of asphalt that were torn from the track's surface, forcing race control to call for a red flag to allow track workers to implement a fix.

The trackwork came too late for Andretti Autosport's James Hinchcliffe, who hit a chunk of the debris and was spat into the tyres on lap 45. The Canadian's accident coincided almost exactly with Rahal Letterman Lanigan's Takuma Sato crashing on another section of the track after tripping over a kerb, bringing out a full-course yellow that switched to red as soon as the magnitude of the problem with the track surface became apparent.

The race was eventually restarted with the original distance reduced from 90 laps to 60, setting up a 15-lap sprint to the finish, although the green flags had barely been waved before the yellows were needed again when Penske's Helio Castroneves spun and was tagged by Ed Carpenter.

Yet another caution was needed a few laps later when EJ Viso (KV) spun and stalled in the middle of Turn 4, yet despite the disjointed track action, quite a few drivers were able to capitalise on the restarts.

Simon Pagenaud (Schmidt-Hamilton) was the first of the opportunists, taking advantage of Will Power being sold a dummy by Dixon just as they were preparing to go green and relieving the Penske driver of second place.

Behind him, Dario Franchitti was performing another Lazarus act and had got himself up to sixth after starting 14th. The Indianapolis 500 winner managed to turn that into third by passing three cars at the same time that Pagenaud was overtaking Power.

When the final restart came a couple of laps later Franchitti repeated the trick, taking second from the Frenchman and securing an unlikely 1-2 for the Ganassi team. Pagenaud crossed the line third, giving Honda a 1-2-3 just three miles down the road from GM's world headquarters.

Results - 60 laps:

Pos  Driver               Team/Car                     Time/Gap
 1.  Scott Dixon          Ganassi DW12-Honda      1h27m39.5053s
 2.  Dario Franchitti     Ganassi DW12-Honda          + 1.9628s
 3.  Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt DW12-Honda          + 2.4773s
 4.  Will Power           Penske DW12-Chevy           + 3.5435s
 5.  Oriol Servia         Panther/DRR DW12-Chevy      + 9.6619s
 6.  Tony Kanaan          KV DW12-Chevy              + 10.1676s
 7.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti DW12-Chevy        + 10.6455s
 8.  Charlie Kimball      Ganassi DW12-Honda         + 11.1048s
 9.  Mike Conway          Foyt DW12-Honda            + 11.5315s
10.  Alex Tagliani        Herta DW12-Honda           + 12.5688s
11.  Marco Andretti       Andretti DW12-Chevy        + 24.5855s
12.  Ed Carpenter         Carpenter DW12-Chevy       + 26.6600s
13.  Simona de Silvestro  HVM DW12-Lotus             + 28.4369s
14.  JR Hildebrand        Panther DW12-Chevy            + 1 lap
15.  Josef Newgarden      Fisher DW12-Honda             + 1 lap
16.  Ryan Briscoe         Penske DW12-Chevy             + 1 lap
17.  Helio Castroneves    Penske DW12-Chevy             + 1 lap
18.  EJ Viso              KV DW12-Chevy                 + 1 lap
19.  Graham Rahal         Ganassi DW12-Honda           + 2 laps


     Takuma Sato          Rahal DW12-Honda              38 laps
     James Hinchcliffe    Andretti DW12-Chevy           38 laps
     Justin Wilson        Dale Coyne DW12-Honda         28 laps
     James Jakes          Dale Coyne DW12-Honda         26 laps
     Sebastien Bourdais   Dragon DW12-Chevy             24 laps
     Rubens Barrichello   KV DW12-Chevy                 11 laps
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