Brisbane-born Kiwi Scott Dixon will continue his quest for open-wheel glory when he competes in the opening round of the FedEx Championship Series in Monterrey Mexico this weekend. Dixon, who will be the 'local' hero when he competes in the...
Brisbane-born Kiwi Scott Dixon will continue his quest for open-wheel glory when he competes in the opening round of the FedEx Championship Series in Monterrey Mexico this weekend.
Dixon, who will be the 'local' hero when he competes in the Honda Indy 300 on the streets of the Gold Coast in October, heads into the 2002 title chase after an impressive maiden season in which he finished eighth in the championship.
The 21 year-old is looking to continue a remarkable record this season, which has seen him win every championship in which he has competed within two years.
Dixon wants to keep the ANZAC flag flying in international racing after Australian Mark Webber finished fifth in his formula one debut in front of a home crowd at Melbourne's Albert Park on Sunday.
The young Kiwi became the youngest ever driver to win a Champ Car race when he clinched victory in round four at Nazareth last year at the age of 20 years, nine months and 14 days.
He reached the podium again at Milwaukee when he finished third and then finished fourth at Chicago, Road America and Laguna Seca.
His consistency saw him lead the field in laps completed for the season with 2521 of a possible 2610.
Dixon qualified 14th and finished 13th in the inaugural Tecate Telmex Grand Prix in Mexico last year, but actually led the race at one stage for 14 laps.
He is confident he can challenge for the championship this season and wants to be in contention when the penultimate round of the series is run on the Queensland's Gold Coast from October 24-27.
"I'm pleased with our off-season testing and believe we're on the right track and have definitely made progress," said Dixon.
"With our new Toyota Lola package for 2002, we are very optimistic that we will have a very strong and competitive season. The Toyota engine continues to be solid and reliable. I think being consistent and finishing races will be a strong point for our team this season.
"I finished the Mexican race last year in 13th position, but led the race for awhile, which was very exciting for me considering it was my first Champ Car event. Monterrey has very enthusiastic race fans and I'm looking forward to returning there - they really add to the overall excitement of the race."
Oriol Servia has been entered as the second driver for PWR (formerly Pac West Racing) this weekend. Servia replaces the retired Mauricio Gugelmin.
"The team has been building momentum throughout our testing sessions and I think we're just where we want to be going into the season. It's been a whole new challenge for me, especially working with a teammate again," said Servia, who is from Spain.
"With Scott Dixon, I have somebody to share information with and telemetry data. Scott and I raced in (Indy) Lights together - he's very quick, very fast, so he will push me to the limit. We will definitely work together to move the team up competitively."
A total of 20 cars have been entered for the first round of the FedEx Championship Series and they will be driven by the likes of former Honda Indy 300 winners Michael Andretti, Dario Franchitti, Paul Tracy, Adrian Fernandez, Jimmy Vasser and Cristiano da Matta.
* The opening round of the FedEx Championship Series can been seen on Network Ten on Monday night from 11.30pm (Check your local guides).