x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Patience pays off for Dixon

Scott Dixon claimed his fifth win of the season with victory at the Rexall Edmonton Indy to extend his lead at the top.

EDMONTON // Scott Dixon claimed his fifth win of the season with victory at the Rexall Edmonton Indy to extend his lead at the top of the driver standings. The Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver took advantage of a good pit-stop strategy as he moved up from fourth on the grid to take the lead without having to pass anyone on the track. He finished almost six seconds ahead of his nearest rival Helio Castroneves, and now leads by 65 points with just four races left of the season.

Castroneves had led until the second round of pit-stops, but a shorter stop due to more economical fuel consumption allowed Dixon to leapfrog him and take a lead he held until the end. The New Zealander said: "Helio drove a great race. I don't think you could fault him on anything he did. He was definitely very fast. I think in the end, our combination was just that little bit better." Castroneves, still looking for his first win of the season in his Penske, kept the pressure on his championship rival until late in the race when he nearly slid off the course on worn tyres six laps from the end.

"I was doing everything I could, pushing, putting pressure until my tyres just gave up on me in the end," said Castroneves, who finished second for the seventh time this season. Justin Wilson was third followed by Oriol Servia and Paul Tracy. Dixon's teammate Dan Wheldon could only finish seventh, while the other championship hopeful Tony Kanaan was only ninth. * PA Sport "You know, he's (Castroneves) has a big margin to catch up if we're running at any race.

"If we can get another race win or another two, that would definitely put the nail in the coffin." Castroneves vowed to fight until the end. "I don't know what to do," he said. "I'll just keep working hard. It ain't over yet. It ain't over yet." Pole-sitter Ryan Briscoe spun with 39 laps remaining and finished sixth, one place ahead of Wheldon, who moved gained a place in the standings ahead of Tony Kanaan.

Kanaan was forced to start from the back of the field due to a post-qualifying engine change and finished ninth. He was not the only Green Andretti Racing car to struggle. Marco Andretti hit Danica Patrick from behind late in the race, sending her off the course. Andretti finished 17th, one spot ahead of Patrick.