12 Mar 2018

Dixon 6th in Indycar opener

11:56 am on 12 March 2018

The Auckland motor racing driver Scott Dixon has finished sixth in the opening round of the Indycar series in Florida.

Indycar driver Scott Dixon.

Indycar driver Scott Dixon. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Dixon started ninth on the grid for the St Petersburg grand prix after what he described as a very disappointing qualifying session.

Dixon was penalised for hittng the back of another car and was forced to the back of the field.

He climbed his way back but was unable to challenge the leaders.

"Obviously not the way we wanted to start the season, we had a fast car this weekend, led practice Saturday, but qualifying didn't go our way and we started mid-pack."

"I got loose in turn one and made contact and we went to the back. After that we just focused on clawing our way back up and getting as many points as we could. I thought we could work on strategy and get a solid finish but then we served a drive-through penalty for pit lane speeding which took us out of it. We never give up and we just kept fighting to the end."

Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais repeated as winner of the race, but only after Robert Wickens and Alexander Rossi collided while battling for the lead on the penultimate lap.

For Bourdais, the spoils are the 37th victory of his Indy car career, which ranks the four-time season champion sixth on the all-time list.

Candian Wickens, who started from the pole position, was vying to become the first driver to win an Indy car race in his debut since Buzz Calkins in 1996.

Others to do it were Nigel Mansell and Graham Hill.

The next round is in Phoenix next month.