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Dixon 'felt like a billy' on Bathurst debut

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Jan 31, 2020, 7:02 AM

Scott Dixon says he's been thrilled by his first laps of the famous Mount Panorama circuit, despite admitting he 'felt like a billy' at times during today's practice sessions for the Bathurst 12 Hour.

Despite his Antipodean upbringing, the five-time IndyCar champion had never turned a lap of the Mount Panorama circuit before today's opening practice sessions for the Bathurst 12 Hour.

He'd also not driven the R-Motorsport Aston Martin, making it a true baptism of fire for the Kiwi.

Reflecting on that first taste of both car and circuit, Dixon said it was both a dream come true and a somewhat daunting experience.

"This place is pretty daunting, for sure," he told Motorsport.com. "In a car you're not accustomed to there are a lot of uncomfortable moments out there.

"I've been trying to come to this track for so many years. I was a spectator here in the late ’90s, so it's cool to finally get here and turn some laps."

He added that he 'felt like a billy' at times throughout the day, and needed to call on the experience of teammates Aston ace Jake Dennis and two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Rick Kelly.

"Jake was extremely quick last year, Rick has run more laps than most people around this track. I've had a lot of help," he said.

"I'm probably being annoying asking so many questions, but I feel like a bit of a billy out there. I'm not really getting it together. So it's cool to finally get some laps and get that flow."

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A key part of the learning process, according to Dixon, was switching out of prototype mode just days after winning the Rolex 24 in a Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R.

"Especially [compared with] the prototype I was in at Daytona last weekend, how quick it turns initially, in this thing you're putting a lot more lock in," he explained.

"You're braking with ABS. This is the first time I've driven a car with ABS. So there's a lot of different parts that I'm not accustomed to, like how to bleed the brake off.

"Coming down the Mountain is exciting. The first couple of laps you're looking, and you don't see where you're going, especially in the dipper. It was really cool. It's exciting to be here. I just hope I can keep it off the wall."

Dixon was lucky to do that in the final hit-out, with reports of a spin somewhere across the top.

The #27 R-Motorsport Aston finished the day 27th in the combined P1/P2 session – 26th in the lunchtime session and 11th in that final practice.

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About this article

Series Endurance
Event Bathurst 12 Hour
Drivers Scott Dixon
Teams R-Motorsport
Author Andrew van Leeuwen