Team Target drivers Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti ran strong at the Sao Paulo Indy 300 on Sunday in Brazil finishing sixth and seventh, respectively, in the opening round of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series.
Due to track conditions, IZOD IndyCar Series officials moved the Saturday qualifying session to race morning – the first time in Indy Racing League history to have qualifications and the race occur on the same day. Franchitti claimed the pole with a fast time of 1:27.7354 seconds.
Franchitti went on to lead a race-high 29 laps until a mid-race downpour forced an unscheduled pit stop for a change to rain tires. Franchitti would fall to ninth and drive to a seventh place result.
Dixon started the race in seventh position only to get caught up in a multi-car incident in the first turn. Having dropped as far back as 19th, Dixon made an impressive charge to the front to challenge for a top-five finish.
By starting seventh, Dixon holds the record for most consecutive top-10 IndyCar Series starts with 33. He had previously been tied at 32 with Sam Hornish Jr.
Franchitti became the third driver in IZOD IndyCar Series history to lead the last lap in one season and then lead the first lap in the next season.
Franchitti earned his 13th IZOD IndyCar Series pole and 24th pole in open wheel racing.
Team Target scored its third consecutive pole (Japan and Homestead, 2009), and has scored the pole in four of the last five races.
It also mark the second time Target Chip Ganassi Racing has clinched the top starting position at an inaugural event in Brazil. (Alex Zanardi, 1996 Rio 400).
Up next for Team Target is Round 2 of the IZOD IndyCar Series at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, March 28th (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC).
Scott Dixon: “It was a very tough race. I'm proud of the Target Team for rebounding after the accident at the start. I'll take this any day especially after the start we had last year in St. Petersburg.”
Dario Franchitti: “If I had my crystal ball it would have been easier. We get it right quite often here at Team Target but we had a lot of unknowns with the weather. We played it as best we could, so I can't be too disappointed."
About Target Chip Ganassi Racing
Target Chip Ganassi Racing is the two-time reigning IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, scoring 10 wins in 17 races in 2009. Chip Ganassi created his own one-car IndyCar team in 1990 and established a partnership with sponsor, Target. Today, Target Chip Ganassi Racing includes two entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series for 2008/2003 Champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner Scott Dixon, and 2009/2007 Champion and 2007 Indianapolis 500 Winner Dario Franchitti. Target Chip Ganassi Racing has collected seven Championships and 74 wins since 1994 and operates out of a state-of-the-art race shop facility in Indianapolis, Ind., with a corporate office in Pittsburgh, Pa.