IRL: Watkins Glen: Chip Ganassi Racing race report

Team Target's Dixon Relishes Return to Road Course Glory at the Glen Watkins Glen, NY, September 25, 2005-- Target Chip Ganassi Racing was a team on a mission as the green flag dropped at the inaugural Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix and Scott...

Team Target's Dixon Relishes Return to Road Course Glory at the Glen

Watkins Glen, NY, September 25, 2005-- Target Chip Ganassi Racing was a team on a mission as the green flag dropped at the inaugural Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix and Scott Dixon along with teammate Giorgio Pantano battled their way to the checkered flag to celebrate a long awaited win and a fourth place finish.

From his fourth place starting position, Dixon moved his no.9 Target Toyota Panoz up to third spot on the first of what would prove to be an exciting 60-lap event on the historic Watkins Glen International 3.37-mile road course. The determined Target driver would go on to pass Tony Kanaan not once, but twice for the lead, and held him off once again on a restart with four laps to go in the race.

"This is just such a great win for me and the Target team because we knew we had the car for this track which is very difficult and also rewarding when you put a good lap together." said Dixon who posts his 4th career IndyCar series win." We had to have good fuel strategy and we knew this track was all about momentum. It's good to come back to the road courses and win once again. This one win makes this very difficult season so much better."

After leading the most laps with 25, and setting the fastest lap of the race at 131.375mph (lap 38) to earn the Firestone Performance Award, Dixon finally put on the brakes to a long and arduous road to victory circle to claim the team first winner's trophy in 40 races.

"This is such a relief for the team," said Dixon who gave the Target team their last win at Richmond on their way to the 2003 IndyCar Series Championship title. "They did a great job all day and this group really deserves it. Watkins Glen is a true drivers' track; everybody loves it. It is a lot of fun but it was a hard race. We ran strong all day, and this is a great feeling."

Dixon's victory not only gives the Target team its 46th win in an open wheel series and their 27th on a road or street course, but it also puts him in illustrious kiwi company as he joins New Zealanders Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme, Chris Amon and Howden Ganley, as drivers who have tasted success at the historic circuit.

Not to be forgotten are the efforts of Target's Giorgio Pantano in just his second IndyCar start. The Italian driver took the green flag from the front row of the grid and despite early set backs, including a difficult first pit stop that put him back to 18th place after a drive-through penalty, had a tremendous drive to a fourth place finish.

"My car was really fantastic and I was able to push really hard, "said Pantano of the no.10 Toyota Panoz his Target team prepared. "The pit lane penalty really hurt us and we missed being up there at the front with Scott. It's just a great result for the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team. I had a great time and was very happy to be part of it. Maybe we can do it again."

The IndyCar season finale, set to be contested in two weeks time at California Speedway in Fontana, CA., will be a special one for Target Chip Ganassi Racing as they put the finishing touches on the 2005 docket with two car entries which will be decorated in special pink Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) livery-- acknowledging October as Breast Cancer Awareness month. Dixon will again pilot the no.9 Target Toyota, with Jaques Lazier returning in the no.10 Target Toyota to complete the Target oval tandem.

-cgr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Giorgio Pantano , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Denny Hulme , Chris Amon , Chip Ganassi , Howden Ganley , Jaques Lazier
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing