Dixon eyes future
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Sports-car racing has a pull for four-time Indy Champ
Following his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut and Chip Ganassi Racing's successful expansion into GT racing with Ford, Scott Dixon has confirmed that sports-car racing is on his radar as a potential home after his IndyCar career draws to a close.
"For me, looking further ahead, that is the direction that I'll probably end up -- in some sort of sports-car racing," Dixon said.
The four-time IndyCar Series champion talked to Driven about the growth of the World Endurance Championship, where the likes of Kiwis Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley race.
He also confirmed that he will return to Ford's GT programme for 2017 for another tilt at Le Mans, as well as Sebring, Daytona, and the "Petit Le Mans".
"When the Ford programme came along, all the [Ganassi Racing] people working on the IndyCar programme were offered the opportunity to transfer over to that as well. So a lot of the people I've worked for on the GT programme are the guys that I've worked with on my IndyCar.
"To do [Le Mans] in an environment that was not far from my every day was the perfect situation. I was very grateful for that."
At 36 years old, Dixon is one of American open-wheeler racing's most successful names -- having racked up 40 race wins since he debuted in CART in 2001. He still rates his ability, stating that he hopes to remain in the series for "at least another five years".
"I'm quite lucky right now, too, with the IndyCar Series and the likes of Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, and Juan Pablo Montoya. They all turn 42 next year so it's helping me longevity wise, which is good," he said, laughing.
However, although GT racing appears to be on the cards, Dixon remains mindful of the recent developments that have seen the WEC's headlining LMP1 class lose the factory involvement of Audi after an 18-year run in the series that included 13 Le Mans victories.
"With Ford going in [WEC is] a big deal, you've got BMW returning to Le Mans, and I think one other manufacturer. So GT is really strong," he said.
"The problem right now is that their marquee class is down to two manufacturers with Porsche and Toyota, so obviously there needs to be a big rethink.
"For a lot of manufacturers that want to join that form of racing [with a] $200 million-plus budget, it's pretty frightening. I think that series is going to evolve in a totally different direction at some point."
The opening round of the 2017 IndyCar Series season takes place in March with the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersberg, where Dixon and Chip Ganassi Racing will debut a new engine supplier partnership with Honda.