When New Zealander Scott Dixon takes to the track in the upcoming Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course in Lexington, Ohio, he will have history on his side, having won at the venue on five separate occasions.
Many people hear the term Indy car and immediately think of the Indianapolis 500, one of the world’s most prestigious open-wheel races.
While it is true that every professional driver, including some who have hopped motor racing codes from Formula One and other circuits, would like to win that race, considered one of the three unofficial Triple Crown races of the sport (Grand Prix of Monaco and LeMans 24-Hour being the other two), casual racing fans tend to dismiss IndyCar as requiring less skill, because the Indy 500 is run on an oval in an anti-clockwise direction and does not require a lot of handling skill.
Try telling that to drivers who have to control a vehicle in traffic while traveling at upwards of 350 kph.
IndyCar, however, stages many races on road courses, where steering, accelerating, braking and overtaking skills are given a true test, and Dixon has proven one of the best.
He won the upcoming event for the first time in 2007, next in 2009, and consecutively in 2011 and 2012.
Dixon has not won since his fifth time in 2014, so if there is any sort of pattern to his past success at Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course, he could well see the checquered flag in 2018.
The race is held on a road course covering a distance of 327 kilometres over 90 laps. There are several long straights where power and speed are needed, but there are quite a few turns where drivers will be steering to the right.
Dixon is out front in the series for now, but several others are in hot pursuit, including Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Josef Newgarden and Australis’ Will Power, winner of the 2018 Indianapolis 500.