Teammates Dixon and Franchitti fired up for new season

As they have in past Rolex 24 hours contest, Chip Ganassi’s two champions are ready for the race in Daytona. Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti shared their thoughts on the 2013 IndyCar season.

IndyCar stalwarts Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti are fired up as the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season draws near. The Chip Ganassi Racing teammates work very well together, and they draw upon each other’s strengths and insights preparing for each and every race. They are driven to succeed but not at the expense of each other.

“I am ready for the new season and although we tested in early December, my next time in the car will be at Fontana and again at Sebring next month,” he said. Dixon indicated that his team is refining the car and he expects the smaller teams to play catch-up. “I expect the competition to get even tighter this year, particularly for the teams with new engineers. Our development program is advancing and our progression is good.”

Regarding the new season’s double-headers, Dixon said, “As long as you are there, you might just as well race. It adds a different element, and we will just have to see what the reception is like.”

Scott Dixon
Scott Dixon

Photo by: Covy Moore

For the standing starts, he said he hasn’t done one in a dozen years. “I am sure everyone will be little excited with it.”

Hoping to improve upon his third-place in points, Dixon said, “Reliability and a little bit of consistency are needed. We DNF'd in five races, and we had our thing (penalty) at Milwaukee and we only lost the championship by 35 points. If we fix those two issues, we should be looking good.”

Said Franchitti about the season ahead, “We have prepared the best we can and with the Target team, we have an excellent team behind us and Honda has done a lot of work with the engines over the winter. I have been working on my weaknesses and Scott has been working on his, and I hope we are coming back stronger. My goals are another championship and another victory in the Indianapolis 500, and we are doing everything possible to achieve that.”

Thinking about the double-headers in 2013, the jury is out according to Franchitti. “It is an unknown,” he said. “Physically I think it will be very difficult for the drivers, as these things are not easy to drive and you are at your limit at the end of a race. And to then have to get back in the car again, we will have to see how that goes.”

He complimented IndyCar for trying things and hopes it will work out.

“We had a great season of racing last year, particularly with the Indianapolis 500 and every race after it was very good. It was a great season and what everyone has been asking for – an American champion. He went out and earned it, but no one is talking about it (owing to the changes in IndyCar management)”.

Dixon and Franchitti are teammates this weekend in the Ganassi team’s BMW entry at Daytona. “The car seems good, although we had a lot of problems with it and it has now been fixed,” Dixon commented. “My first lap in the car was in qualifying (where he qualified second), and I think both cars are strong. But I think quite a few of other manufacturers are sandbagging bad.”

#02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley: Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Joey Hand, Jamie McMurray
#02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley: Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Joey Hand, Jamie McMurray

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Franchitti goes into the Rolex24 with a high degree of optimism. “This is a difficult race, and it is so easy to make a mistake whether a mechanical issue or get taken out by someone else. You prepare as well as you can and you give it your best. If it all works out, you come home a winner.”

Dixon and Franchitti know how to win and combined with teammates Joey Hand and Jamie McMurray they may well have the winning hand when the checkered flag falls on Sunday afternoon. And should it happen, they know that Chip Ganassi will be happy.

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Grand-Am
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Joey Hand , Jamie McMurray , Chip Ganassi , Eric Gilbert , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing
Article type Special feature
Tags bmw, chip ganassi, dixon, franchitti, grandam, honda, indycar, izod, joey hand, mcmurray, riley, target team