Watch Scott Dixon take on the rigorous Ninja Warrior course
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As long as motorsport has been a thing, there have been cynics denying its position as a 'sport'. You know the ones — the people who grizzle that all race drivers do is "sit in a car and turn a wheel." They might even throw in a "I do that every day when I drive to the shops. Where's my pay cheque?" if you're lucky.
The truth of the matter is that race drivers are some of the greatest athletes in the world in the context of endurance. A tennis player, for example, will perform at the peak of their athleticism in short, sharp stabs before getting to take a little breather between each game, and bigger ones in each set. A rugby player in the heat of battle will sweat and endure contact, but when they're off the ball they're effectively able to regather their thoughts.
But a race driver, particularly someone competing in a category like the IndyCar Series, will get hardly any real 'break' periods. They perform at their peak powers with often very little in the way of interruption — save for the odd safety car or pit stop.
We don't often get to see this athleticism put in the context of others, but one of the few arenas that takes the best of the best and compares them is the show American Ninja Warrior, which Kiwi Scott Dixon recently gave a crack.
Spoiler alert — Dixon doesn't quite complete the course. That doesn't necessarily do my earlier point any favours ... but the former Indy 500 champ was on target to do a time of just over three minutes. That's competitive, given that the absolute best of the best tend to clock times in the ballpark of 2mins 30sec.
With Dixon having completed the 24 Hours of Le Mans over the weekend with Chip Ganassi's Ford GT squad (mechanical issues ruing any chance of a strong result), his attention now turns to the next round of the IndyCar Series. That takes place this weekend at Road America.