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IndyCar Mid-Ohio

Dixon’s IndyCar title hopes hurt by hybrid failure at Mid-Ohio

Six-time IndyCar champion’s title hopes took a hit after suffering a hybrid issue during the formation lap on its debut race weekend at Mid-Ohio

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Scott Dixon’s race was over before it even began at Mid-Ohio when his #9 Chip Ganassi-run Honda suffered a hybrid failure on the formation lap.

Primed to roll off 13th on the grid and targeting a record-extending seventh win at Mid-Ohio, disaster struck the 43-year-old New Zealander when he stopped at Turn 5.

Unable to move, Dixon’s car was pushed behind the wall and he was left in a fit of frustration, simply saying, “This is a f****** joke, man” over the radio after being unable to refire the hybrid unit, which made its race weekend debut at the circuit.

Dixon returned to the garage while the rest of the field took the green flag. Although he was able to return to the race some 22 laps down in last place 27th, he eventually retired after logging 40 laps and unable to improve his position, with the early retirement listed as a mechanical.

#9: Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, pit stop

#9: Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, pit stop

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt

“Kind of weird,” Dixon told NBC, following the incident. “There was no alarms, but when I looked down, because the team said, ‘You’ve got to go into recharge.’

“Something started discharging the capacitor immediately, like at an excessive rate. So, some kind of failure there with the power side of the hybrid, which is definitely not a great way to start it for the first time.

“Didn't even make the warm-up laps, so a lot of unknowns right now I guess.”

The suspected issue was that the ESS began discharging, but IndyCar shared after the race they are still investigating the incident.

Where the damage hurts Dixon the most is in the championship standings, having come into the weekend second and 32 points behind leader and team-mate Alex Palou, who finished second in the race.

Dixon has dropped to fourth and 71 points back.

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

Dixon’s issue ended up being the only known hybrid incident on the day, which caught the attention – and put on alert – IndyCar president Jay Frye.

“Once something like that happens right off the bat, you don’t know what happened, so you’re kind of on pins and needles the rest of the event,” Frye told Motorsport.com. “But obviously they got it sorted out and they got back out.”

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