Dixon drops in on Kelly Racing ahead of the Armor All Gold Coast 600 New Zealand IndyCar star Scott Dixon has visited Kelly Racing as he prepares to team up with Todd Kelly in the #7 Jack Daniel’s Commodore at the Armor All Gold Coast 600 this October. Dixon visited the team’s facility in Braeside, Melbourne following his sixth place run in Motegi, Japan over the weekend, getting a seat fitting, practicing pit stop driver changes and meeting with engineers in readiness for his V8 Supercar debut with Jack Daniel’s Racing on October 22-24.
Dixon is one of Australasia’s most successful motorsport exports, with the Brisbane-born Kiwi a two-time IndyCar Series champion (2003 and 2008) as well as the winner of the 2008 Indianapolis 500.
Dixon also has race winning form in endurance racing with multiple drivers, as the Armor All Gold Coast 600 will be for the first time in 2010, winning the 2006 Daytona 24 Hour sportscar race.
“For me this Gold Coast event feels like coming home and doing something I'm used to,” said Scott Dixon.
“I think the best word to describe this event is 'interesting'. Most of the internationals have never raced a V8 Supercar, including me. I have raced at Surfers in an IndyCar many times so at least I’ll know my way around.
“It's going to be a fantastic race and something that everybody is going to love to watch.
“It's always nice to see the competition, the friendly competition I like to call it, between the Aussies and the Kiwis.
“I'm a bit of a mix myself, born in Brisbane but obviously traveling on a Kiwi passport. For me, I’ve got lots of friends here with Jason Richards, Fabian Coulthard and obviously Greg Murphy.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve raced with them so hopefully we can fly the flag for New Zealand.
“For us international drivers I think we all want to try and come here and do a good job and help the team you are racing with because it’s part of the championship.
“So there is a lot of pressure and it’s something that you've got to take seriously.
“It’s been great to catch up with Todd, Rick and the entire team, practice some driver changes, go through some data and just get prepared for when I get back here in a few weeks.”
Todd Kelly and Dixon were rivals in the 1998 Australian Formula Holden Championship as teenagers, with Dixon edging out Kelly for the title before moving to the United States to pursue a career in North American open-wheel racing.
The pair now enter the revamped Gold Coast event as team-mates in the #7 Jack Daniel’s Commodore, with Kelly acknowledging Dixon’s dedication to the team, visiting Melbourne after the Japan race to become better acquainted with the operation before returning to the US for the IZOD IndyCar Series finale in Homestead, Florida on October 2.
“It’s fantastic to see how keen he is to get here to work through all aspects of the car and pit stops and try to get a jump on the other guys,” said Todd Kelly.
“There is no doubt in my mind that I've got the right bloke in the car with me.
“These guys are all obviously full-time in their own championships, their own teams and their own cars so for them to try and focus on our event at the Gold Coast is a pretty big thing and takes a lot of effort and dedication.
“They're on a huge scale over in the United States in IndyCar and where a lot of the other drivers are from.
“It just shows how strong and renowned our category is to have such huge interest in the Gold Coast event.
“To have guys like Scott Dixon come over is awesome and we're all pretty impressed to have a guy like him walking around our little workshop here in Melbourne for the day.
“We usually go quite well on the Gold Coast. Hopefully we will have a top weekend this year with Scott onboard.
“It's a shorter circuit this year, which will slightly change it. I really can't wait to get in the car and get there with him. I am sure he'll do a fantastic job.”
Owen Kelly will team with Rick Kelly in the #15 Jack Daniel’s Commodore at the Armor All Gold Coast 600, giving that entry the same driver line-up for all three V8 Supercars endurance events this season. The pairing was fourth in the first endurance race of the season at Phillip Island last week.
Another star of the IZOD IndyCar Series, Canadian Alex Tagliani, will line-up with Kelly Racing at the Armor All Gold Coast 600 in what will be his third V8 Supercars Championship Series start.