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20th of February 2018


IndyCar champ Scott Dixon pushes it a little too far at open test

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Even a driver as great as four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon needs to push the limit to see how far a new race car will go.

With the clock winding down in Saturday night’s final 3-hour test session in the Indycar Open Test, Dixon’s Honda went into turn one and the back tires of the car lost traction. Dixon spun, drifted up the banking and made minor contact with the turn two wall.

Dixon was the only driver to tag the wall in the 12 hours of testing at the 1.022-mile short oval, although AJ Foyt Racing rookie Matheus Leist spun his car three times over the two days.

What made this test so important is all of the drivers in the series are trying to find out for themselves the differences with the 2018 aero package. It’s completely different from the high downforce packages that were used when Honda and Chevrolet each had different aero kits from 2015 and 2017 and it has made the cars much “lighter” to drive. That’s because this year’s package has at least 1,200 pounds less downforce than last year.

With less downforce, the straightaway speeds are faster, the corner speeds are lower and the cars have a tendency to dance, skip and slide on the track.

“In traffic on our second or third lap after we went back out a couple of the Andretti cars got past the 5 (James Hinchcliffe), who was running slow,” Dixon recalled. “I got low in turns one and two, got on the throttle and was getting a big run and then all of a sudden I lost the rear. It was late in the corner. I just brushed the rear and it took off the rear wing.”

It wasn’t a hard hit, but it was enough to load up the car and head back to the team’s shop in Indianapolis.

By Bruce Martin

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