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IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race 2

Honda hails “superhuman” and “mind-boggling” IndyCar ace Dixon

Scott Dixon’s latest IndyCar victory has been hailed as a “masterclass” by his engine supplier Honda, after his ‘spin and win’ success at Indianapolis 10 days ago.

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dixon spun to the tail of the field on the opening lap after being rear-ended by Romain Grosjean as his team-mate Marcus Armstrong spun in front of the pack, but he pulled off a remarkable recovery by pitting immediately and then executing a pseudo-two-stop strategy at Indy’s road course with 80 laps to go.

After the race, Ganassi’s managing director and Dixon’s strategist Mike Hull praised: “Scott did his job. He drives so well and understands in the cockpit what we're doing from the timing stand.”

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Chip Ganassi

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Chip Ganassi

Photo by: IndyCar Series

Honda’s US racing president David Salters concurred and told Autosport that Dixon’s calmness allows him to see the strategy picture from the beginning to pull-off such comebacks.

“A masterclass by Mr Dixon once again,” he said. “He’s worked out where to lift and save the fuel so it has minimal impact of lap time.

“Anyone can save fuel, but as you can see with Scott, the real key is not losing lap time. Having the mental capacity as you do that, because you change the operating window of the car, so lifting early and braking later means there’s less energy going into the tyres – it’s a very complex system.

“There’s this amazing superhuman person who’s not only driving a car at 180mph but he’s busy changing his lift and braking points metre by metre, lap by lap, and he has to adapt to the car.

“Someone like Scott, he’s one of the greats in IndyCar with all those championships, and what he keeps doing is mind-boggling. He’s fast but with the mental capacity to think ahead.

“The champions are like that, and you can hear it on his radio. And it’s like he’s almost sat on the pit stand.”

David Salters, president of Honda Performance Development, Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing

David Salters, president of Honda Performance Development, Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing

Photo by: Honda Racing

When asked for his secret to fuel saving after his victory at Indy, Dixon simply replied: “Lifting. I don't know, man. I would say, Honda.

“I was actually shocked, just the pace that we had. The car just kept doing the same lap times, mid-73s to 74s-flats. The fuel mileage, huge credit to Honda and HPD, it was remarkably easy to get.

“I knew maybe the other manufacturer was going to struggle on mileage. The cars around me with the #12 [Will Power] and the #2 [Josef Newgarden] were going to struggle to do the pace that we could get with the mileage that we could get.”

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