Paddon and Dixon pull positive results overseas
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While some of us have spent the morning sprawled on the couch, others like Scott Dixon and Hayden Paddon spent it ripping up some mighty treacherous roads.
For Dixon, it was the tight concrete-lined streets of St. Petersburg at the opening round of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series. The Aucklander qualified his Ganassi Racing Honda in second, and was one of the leading cars all race long.
However, they hadn't accounted for the strategy play of Dale Coyne Racing and Sebastian Bourdais. After starting from 21st and last on the grid, the team went off sequence early in the race, and then made big ground on the leaders when a convenient safety car was called.
Good fuel consumption helped too, ensuring that Bourdais would take a comfortable race win by the time the field had arrived on the 110th and final lap. Dixon eventually took third, after roaring to the end of the race with ample fuel on board his Honda.
Meanwhile, Paddon and Kiwi co-driver John Kennard were competing in Mexico, for the third round of the World Rally Championship.
The Hyundai Motorsport duo were as high as third overall early in the rally, but one bad stage punctuated by engine issues dropped them all the way down to seventh, and ripped away any chance of a big result.
Photo / McKlein Photography
Not that it stopped Paddon from pushing. By the penultimate day he had pushed back to fifth place, passing both factory Toyotas. And that's where he finished this morning, after his two final stages.
Not really the result he was after, but it still represents solid championship points for the kid from Geraldine after a difficult start to his 2017 campaign.
The rally win eventually went to Citroen's Kris Meeke, though the Brit very nearly lost it in the closing power stage after crashing through a fence and through a spectator parking lot. He luckily narrowly missed all the cars, and wiggled through the labyrinth to get back onto the stage and win by just 13.8 seconds.
It's been a great advert for the series and their new regulations that three different manufacturers, Ford, Toyota, and now Citroen, have won the first three rounds of the season. Hyundai will get there too, eventually.
Both the IndyCar Series and the WRC now have four weeks off before their next events; the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the Rallye de France respectively. Go hard boys.