a

Honoring Scott Dixon’s legacy at WIPA

Honoring Scott Dixon’s legacy at WIPA

Ross Brothers Muscle Car Garage Keeper Nelson Ives looks at the Auto Museum’s new addition, Scott Dixon’s 2005 No. 9 Target Panoz G-Force Toyota. Photo/Dean Taylor

By all accounts, Scott Dixon is one of New Zealand’s best and most successful athletes, but one Waipa family doesn’t think he’s got the recognition he deserves in his country. So they did something about it.

The Ross Brothers of Cambridge own C & R Developments, but more importantly in this story, they also own the gorgeous Ross Brothers Muscle Car Garage – a celebration of automotive history and earth-moving that has gained a large following for quality vehicles, presentation and hospitality.

Being so involved in motorsports, the boys thought it was only right that Dixon’s amazing accomplishments be widely celebrated in his home country – and as owners of a motoring museum, what better way to purchase and display one of his race cars?

Modern-day IndyCar legend Scott Dixon.
Modern-day IndyCar legend Scott Dixon.

The team at C&R Developments had known Dixon since he was nine years old and had followed his rise on the motorsports scene.

It took some serious negotiation, over a long period of time – but finally, the original New Zealand Scott Dixon Indy car is back and on display.

The car is a 2005 No. 9 Target Panoz G-Force Toyota that he raced with his longtime Chip Ganassi Racing team.

Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Ganassi Racing Panoz Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the inaugural Indy Racing League IndyCar Championship of the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix on September 25, 2005 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo by Gavin Lawrence/Getty Images)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Ganassi Racing Panoz Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the inaugural Indy Racing League IndyCar Championship of the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix on September 25, 2005 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Gavin Lawrence/Getty Images)

Nelson Ives, who looks after the Ross Brothers muscle car garage and workshop, used some of his contacts to help seal the deal.

He also has a brother-in-law who has lived in America since 1997 and has contacts in the auto racing scene who was able to help with negotiations and arrangements.

Ives raced for four years in America and then was the crew chief for the Western Union Speed ​​Team, which was owned by Keith Duesenberg, grandson of the famous automaker’s founder and avid racer.

Ives ran Phil Giebler’s company and, for a while, was a member of one of the most famous racing dynasties in America, Al Unser jnr.

He says he knows from experience that race victories and consecutive wins in America don’t come easy, and that IndyCar success comes from years of hard work and planning.

“It’s a complete program and everything has to go right to score a victory,” he says.

“So the importance of winning the Indianapolis 500, the largest individual sporting event in the world with 400,000 spectators at all times, cannot be underestimated.”

He says that teams like Chip Ganassi Racing often don’t sell race cars, even when they are being replaced.

In Indy Car, teams will buy or develop a body designed according to the class formula and add bodywork.

Most of the parts are also for formula, but teams can make adjustments within the rules to improve the aero package and handling.

Engines are also built to a formula by a few manufacturers and leased to teams. After about 1,600 km of use it is restored.

Scott Dixon, Target's #9 2005 Panoz G-Force Toyota takes pride of place in the Ross Brothers muscle car garage in Cambridge.  Photo/Dean Taylor
Scott Dixon, Objective #9 2005 Panoz G-Force Toyota takes pride of place in the Ross Brothers muscle car garage in Cambridge. Photo/Dean Taylor

The 2005 Target Panoz G-Force Toyota, like most other retired race cars, was “pile and piled” at Chip Ganassi Racing’s headquarters.

It does not have an engine, as it was returned to Toyota, but was offered as racing for most of the 2005 season.

It wasn’t Dixon’s best season, but it was also a reason the car could be bought.

Ives says teams never sell important or championship-winning cars.

Scott Dixon drives a lineup of cars in his #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota Panoz during the IRL IndyCar Series Toyota Indy 300 on March 6, 2005 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferry/Getty Images)
Scott Dixon drives a lineup of cars in his #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota Panoz during the IRL IndyCar Series Toyota Indy 300 on March 6, 2005 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Ferry/Getty Images)

The 2005 car was the last time Dixon raced a Toyota engine, and he had the most success with Honda, although the team also used Chevrolet engines in 2014-16.

He has only one car win – winning the inaugural Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix of the Indy Racing League Series. It was a disappointing season after opening success in 2003 and promising 2004.

In fact, Dixon was in danger of losing his drive, according to Wikipedia, and a win at Watkins Glen meant he was contracted for another two years.

In 2005, Dixon and Ganassi teammates Ryan Briscoe and Darren Manning were struggling, writing off or damaging 28 cars in a long string of accidents.

Manning was ejected and Australia’s Briscoe narrowly avoided serious injury when his car became airborne and disintegrated after contact with another car and slammed into the outside retaining wall of turn three at Chicagoland Speedway.

Serious success did not return until 2008, when Dixon won the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series.

Then, he went on to win the series again in 2013, 2015, 2018, and 2020.

Scott Dixon celebrates the 2015 IndyCar Championship. Photo/Chevrolet Racing
Scott Dixon celebrates the 2015 IndyCar Championship. Photo/Chevrolet Racing

When he signed with Chip Ganassi Racing for 2022, his 21st season, he set a record for the longest tenure of a driver in team history. Overall, 2022 was Dixon’s 22nd season in the NTT IndyCar Series.

He’s taken two wins this year and finished third in the series, trailing fellow Kiwi Scott McLaughlin.

Dixon has the most wins of any active IndyCar driver, with 53, which ranks him second on the all-time IndyCar wins list to AJ Foyt (67). Foyt, with seven titles, is just one win in the series ahead of Dixon.

Dixon also holds the IndyCar record, winning at least one race across 20 seasons.

His success has not only come in IndyCar, and Scott has won numerous titles and won a number of seasons since running in the New Zealand Formula Vee Class II Championship in 1994.

His sporting achievements have been recognized by his home country twice, when he was named Sportsman of the Year in 2008 and 2013 and in 2009 he was inducted into the New Zealand Motorsports Wall of Fame.

Dixon was honored by Queen Elizabeth II in 2019 on the 66th anniversary of her coronation when he was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

The team at Ross Brothers are hopeful that having IndyCar take center stage with people entering the museum will create more appreciation for Dixon and his accomplishments.

Scott Dixon in action in 2015. Photo/Phillip Abbott/LAT and GM
Scott Dixon in action in 2015. Photo/Phillip Abbott/LAT and GM

And, as they point out, he’s still at the top of his game and has the chance to not only add his name to that of racing legend AJ Foyt, but perhaps even outpace it.

Ross Brothers Muscle Car Garage is located at C&R Developments, 162 Hannon Rd, Cambridge. It is open most days of the week from 9am and at other times for clubs, events and private events by arrangement.

For more information contact Nelson Ives, 027853 8676.


#Honoring #Scott #Dixons #legacy #WIPA

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *