Having wrapped up his fifth Indy car championship for Chip Ganassi Racing, newly minted Verizon IndyCar Series Scott Dixon is hoping some of his good fortune can rub off on his sports car teammates.
Dixon will join Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook at Road Atlanta this weekend for Petit Le Mans, the 10-hour endurance race that concludes IMSA’s WeatherTech Sports Car Championship.
Briscoe and Westbrook are nine points behind the leading Corvette heading into the race.
Dixon is one of eight Verizon IndyCar Series drivers entered in Petit Le Mans. Six drivers – Helio Castroneves, Graham Rahal, Simon Pagenaud (Acura Team Penske), Ryan Hunter-Reay (Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac), Spencer Pigot (Mazda Team Joest) and Gabby Chaves (Action Express Cadillac) – will compete in the prototype class while Dixon and Sebastien Bourdais compete in the GT Le Mans Class in Ford GTs fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing.
“I have only done Petit maybe once before, but it’s always been a race I’ve wanted to compete in,” said Rahal, who rejoins Castroneves and Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske for the first time since the 12 Hours of Sebring in March. “To do these three races with Acura Team Penske this year has been awesome and I’m excited for the weekend. For it to be the last race of the year for not only me but everybody makes it an important one. Hopefully, we can go out and get a win. This is definitely a long race. It’s a test of endurance and man and machine. A lot of things can happen here, so we’ll go out and battle hard.”
Pagenaud, who will race with Dane Cameron and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya in Penske’s No. 6 Acura, will also make his first start since Sebring. He said he relishes the return to sports car racing, which played a big role in keeping his name known in North America.
“I really enjoy being part of this race,” he said. “The long races is a great way to keep my eyes open and keep an open mind as well on driving style and other ways to race. I enjoy it. It great to be here and race with some old friends.
“The goal at Team Penske is always to win races, but personally my goal is a little different. It’s just about making no mistakes, being fast and being consistent. I don’t need to set the world on fire because it’s a long race. The goal is more to look long term than short-run speed.”
Qualifying for Petit Le Mans is slated for 3:55 p.m. ET on Friday with the race set for 11 a.m. on Saturday.