Dixon eyes title at Gateway

(Madison, Il): PacWest Racing's Scott Dixon laid the foundation to clinch the Dayton Indy Lights Championship this weekend when he showed the opposition a clean pair of heels in the first practice session at the Gateway International Raceway in St...

(Madison, Il): PacWest Racing's Scott Dixon laid the foundation to clinch the Dayton Indy Lights Championship this weekend when he showed the opposition a clean pair of heels in the first practice session at the Gateway International Raceway in St Louis today.

Dixon, driver of the #17 Invensys/Powerware PacWest Lights entry, was more than 0.3 of a second faster than his nearest opponent Jeff Simmons with a time of 29.252 seconds around the 1.270-mile oval.

The 20 year-old New Zealander currently has a 42-point lead in the . Thechampionship and only has to improve his advantage by one point by . Thethe end of the weekend to take home the series trophy re will be . Thea maximum of 44 points up for grabs in the last two rounds of the . Theseries in Houston and Fontana with 20 points for each win and a . Thepoint each for pole and most laps led in both races. If a driver . Thewas to be in a tie with Dixon at the end of the last round, the New . TheZealander is already in a position where he would win on a countback. Thebecause of his number of victories (5) this season .

Tony Renna, driver of the #18 Motorola PacWest Lights machine, clocked a time of 29.737 seconds in the morning session to put himself 3rd overall on the time sheet today. Renna, a native of Florida, is a short-oval specialist and believes he can improve a couple of places in tomorrow's official qualifying with a couple of changes to his car.

SCOTT DIXON - # 17 INVENSYS/POWERWARE PACWEST LIGHTS -- 1st Practice time: 29.252s

"My car has been pretty good all day, although I am battling a lot of understeer," said Dixon.

"We are pretty much running the same set-up as when we tested here a few weeks ago, although we have tried a combination of other things as well. We are going to make a minor change to the gearing overnight and if everything is positive we should be able to go faster in qualifying tomorrow. It would be great to wrap-up the title this weekend, but at this stage we have to put that at the back of our minds and concentrate on the race."

TONY RENNA - # 18 MOTOROLA PACWEST LIGHTS -- 3rd Practice Time: 29.737s

"The car has been inconsistent, so we made some changes early," said Renna.

"After a (sway) bar change we were having trouble with push in turns one and two and my car is neutral in high-speed turns three and four. We modified the set-up of the car from our earlier testing session which we will have to re-think tonight."

PRACTICE TIMES: 1:Scott Dixon 29.252; 2: Jeff Simmons 29.566; 3: Tony Renna 29.737; 4: Cory Witherill 29.786; 5: Chris Menninga 29.846; 6: Casey Mears 29.858; 7: Townsend Bell 29.888; 8: Jason Bright 29.951; 9: Jonny Kane 30.068; 10: Felipe Giaffone 30.145.

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Casey Mears , Cory Witherill , Scott Dixon , Chris Menninga , Townsend Bell , Jonny Kane , Tony Renna , Jason Bright , Jeff Simmons