Dixon says more testing at Texas could have helped prevent pack race

Scott Dixon believes that more testing on Texas Motor Speedway’s revised layout would have allowed IndyCar enough time to set downforce goals that would have avoided the pack racing witnessed last Saturday.

Dixon says more testing at Texas could have helped prevent pack race
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Scott Dixon, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet, Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, Mikhail Aleshin, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Tristan Vautier, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Will Power, Team Penske Team Penske Chevrolet

Dixon, a four-time IndyCar champion and two-time winner at TMS, had been enjoying a long side-by-side duel with eventual winner Will Power of Team Penske, when Andretti Autosport’s Takuma Sato clipped the grass on the dogleg front straight and spun into the Chip Ganassi Racing #9. The ensuing crash eliminated Sato and Dixon and also involved a second Ganassi car of Max Chilton and the AJ Foyt Racing entry of Conor Daly.

Speaking from Le Mans, where he will be racing one of the Chip Ganassi Racing-run Ford GTs this weekend, Dixon told Motorsport.com: “We’ve seen it before: it’s such a fine line between creating great racing and being in a pack race again.

“Nobody really – except maybe the spectators – wanted to see [racing] how it turned out in Texas this year. Visually it was probably pretty exciting, but for the drivers it wasn’t that enjoyable. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a race with that many cars eliminated…”

As well as improving the drainage system, the changes at TMS since last year's IndyCar race included re-profiling Turns 1 and 2 to make them 20 feet wider, and lowering the banking at that end from 24 to 20 degrees. Some teams tested on this revised layout in April, but Dixon said that test didn’t give any clear indication of how the track would evolve, even aside from the very different temperature conditions.

“It’s difficult because there are always so many pieces to the puzzle,” he said. “The biggest thing everyone could have done with is more testing there.

“Unfortunately when we did the first tire test [on the revised track in April] not many people ran and teams sandbagged a lot so that made it difficult. In the part of the day when we ran 220mph average laps, the Penskes were running 213s, so it’s hard to get a feel of where the track’s gonna go.”

Dixon added that in 2018, IndyCar would have freer rein to make changes to downforce levels. Currently, with the teams running manufacturer aerokits, such changes tend to trigger political fights if either Chevrolet or Honda perceive they are about to be put at a disadvantage or lose an advantage.

“I think that’s why it’s going to be a lot better with the universal aerokit [in 2018],” said Dixon, “because then IndyCar is able to step in much easier and make adjustments. So that will be a positive. Right now, one change affects one manufacturer much more than the other.”

 

shares
comments
Injured Bourdais happy to not be part of "bullshit" Texas race
Previous article

Injured Bourdais happy to not be part of "bullshit" Texas race

Next article

IndyCar to test new driver head protection on 2018 car

IndyCar to test new driver head protection on 2018 car
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021