Dixon: Pagenaud had “ridiculous” speed advantage in Toronto

Scott Dixon is puzzled by the setup differences that left him struggling to gain ground on eventual winner Simon Pagenaud without the aid of traffic in yesterday’s Honda Indy Toronto.

Dixon: Pagenaud had “ridiculous” speed advantage in Toronto

Dixon qualified his Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda second alongside Pagenaud and was his closest threat throughout the race. In the closing stages, as the leader reached uncooperative backmarkers, Dixon was able to draw within one second of the #22 Team Penske-Chevrolet.

However, Dixon found he couldn’t run any closer nor could he gain much on the straights, despite using push-to-pass.

He remarked: “I think it was just really hard to get close to cars… Once we just got to Simon, we couldn't do anything. He did a good job of holding the pace up a little bit in [Turns] 6 and 8. We had some lapped traffic with [Ryan] Hunter-Reay. Got a good run out of (Turns) 11 and 1.”

He added later: “It was definitely harder than normal, I thought, to get a run on somebody here. Normally out of 1 you can have a pretty good go. But for us today, whatever our setup or the configuration, it wasn't [possible].

“Straight line speed was ridiculous, to be honest. I don't know if they were trimmed. Honestly, on overtake [push-to-pass] I was barely closing on them. Something we definitely need to work on for the latter part of the season.”

Dixon revealed too that he brushed a wall hard enough to leave his steering wheel askew and temporarily worried that he’d damaged a wheel rim.

“I made a mistake, pretty big mistake, probably around Lap 12 or 15,” he said. “I hit the inside wall on Turn 9, bent the suspension pretty bad and actually thought I had a puncture. Luckily it wasn't too bad. It was enough to get to the end, but not ideal. Luckily the tire stayed up and we were able to continue on.

“Crazy it happened so early. Had flashbacks of Detroit again. It was nice to actually finish.”

Read Also:

Rossi content with "anti-climactic" race

Meanwhile third-place finisher Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport admitted he didn’t have the pace to tackle Pagenaud and Dixon, but was content with closing the points gap to Josef Newgarden, who finished fourth.

“It was pretty anti-climactic,” he said. “We didn't think we had a first-place car at any point this weekend. We made a good turnaround overnight on Friday night into Saturday for qualifying. The fact that we were able to put it in the top five was a good thing.

“Then we thought we had a podium-place car [but] that was really about it, unless we had anything come to us in the form of luck. So it was good to just kind of capitalize on what we felt was our maximum. Obviously finishing in front of Josef was a good thing.

“About seven or eight laps to go, I closed down on [Pagenaud and Dixon] pretty quick because of lapped cars, but I caught the same ones they had to deal with. From that point it was pretty much maintaining third and bringing the car home.”

Rossi now lies four points behind Newgarden with six races remaining, with Pagenaud just 35 points further back.

 

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / LAT Images

shares
comments
Pagenaud “always a little ahead while not taking too much risk”
Previous article

Pagenaud “always a little ahead while not taking too much risk”

Next article

Pagenaud: “Never count me out” of title fight

Pagenaud: “Never count me out” of title fight
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021