Sunday, 14 July 2013

Dominant Dixon doubles up in Toronto - Honda Indy Two In Toronto Race 2 Review

Scott Dixon put on another fine display to win his third race of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series, his third win in as many events. The Kiwi was untouchable from start to finish capping off a truly dominant weekend for the Ganassi driver. He beat Championship leader Helio Castroneves and a strong Sebastien Bourdais to sweep the weekend.

Since the planned standing start for race one didn't happen, race two was altered so that it began with a standing start.

That went to plan with most of the field getting away smoothly. Scott Dixon took advantage of pole to lead out of turn one with Helio Castroneves getting a good start to move up to second from third on the grid. Back in the field Simon Pagenaud was squeezed out at the first corner whilst Ed Carpenter stalled on the grid. James Hinchcliffe didn't make the start after he stalled before the formation lap. He later got going but three laps down. Dario Franchitti pitted at the end of the first lap to replace his nosecone to cap off a dramatic first lap.

Dixon wasn't troubled for the lead and when he pitted on lap 25 he held a lead of over three seconds. Championship leader Helio Castroneves took the race lead when Dixon pitted. Castroneves pitted himself at the end of lap 26. His teammate Will Power inherited the lead.

Race 1 winner Dixon took the lead back on lap 29 as the pitstops cycled through. Power emerged from the pits straight into a battle with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais. He got past Hunter-Reay at turn three, leaving the 2012 champion in Bourdais' sights.

Dixon next pitted at the end of lap 57 but despite the stop, he rejoined the race in the lead after amassing such a sizeable lead after his last stop.

James Jakes brought out the first caution of the day when he crashed at turn five on lap 65. Despite turning in, the Brit carried on straight with his hand leaving the steering wheel.

The race restarted on lap 71 after an aborted start one lap earlier due to a sweeper still being on the track. Dixon once again led across the line with the rest of the field bunching up behind into turn one. Will Power and Dario Franchitti resumed their rivalry with Franchitti in sixth, trailing Power. Power moved up to fourth on lap 72 when he passed Bourdais at turn three.
Ryan Hunter-Reay was the next victim of Will Power's charge as both he and Bourdais relegated Hunter-Reay to fifth on lap 73. Franchitti meanwhile found some pace and closed the gap to fifth to just under 0.3 seconds.

With 5 laps to go, in a similar incident to Jakes, Ed Carpenter crashed at turn five bringing out a second full course caution.

On the restart Scott Dixon launched off but Will Power couldn't get away cleanly, hitting Ryan Hunter-Reay whilst accelerating out of turn one. Hunter-Reay hit the wall and was joined by Takuma Sato who ran into the back of him. Both drivers along with Power retied from the race.

Scott Dixon took the win under caution, earning a $100,000 bonus for sweeping the double header at Toronto. The victory also makes him the most successful active driver as far as wins are concerned. Helio Castroneves finished second and Sebastien Bourdais took his second podium of 2013 with a  third placed finish. Dario Franchitti finished fourth whilst EJ Viso was fifth, surprisingly the Venezuelan was Andretti Autosport's highest finisher ahead of Marco Andretti in ninth. Ryan Hunter-Reay's late retirement and Jame Hinchcliffe's late start left then way down the field. The local driver finished 21st and one lap down whilst Hunter-Reay was classified in 19th.

Helio Castroneves second placed finish was his best finish at Toronto and it kept the Brazilian at the top of the points standings. Scott Dixon's winning streak moves him up to second in the standings, 29 points off the lead. Ryan Hunter-Reay's late race crash relegates him from second to third in the standings. Meanwhile his teammate Marco Andretti holds fourth with Simon Pagenaud fifth.

The IZOD IndyCar series' next race is the Honda Indy 200 on August 4th at the legendary Mid Ohio sports car course. Scott Dixon will be looking to repeat his success of 2011 and 2012 at the track and continue his impressive winning streak of late.

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