No end to Indy career in sight for Scott Dixon
Scott Dixon believes he could have up to eight years left in his remarkable IndyCars career.
The New Zealand ace has just signed an extension on his contract with Target Chip Ganassi Racing through to 2015 as he gets set to start the latest season in Florida this weekend.
Dixon sees no end in sight, labelling his team mate Dario Franchitti, who turns 40 in May, as the benchmark for longevity in this most competitive arena.
"I'm 32, I'd like to think I have at least eight more years," Dixon said as he enters his 13th campaign with the team, continuing as their longest-serving driver.
"I've had a very successful career already, and I don't want to stop now. I want to go for records and achieve as much as I can."
It's a powerful team with Franchitti boasting four IndyCar titles and Dixon two. Franchitti is looking for a record-equalling fourth Indianapolis 500 victory this season while Dixon is out to add to his 2008 win at the famous track.
But for now, all eyes are on the first meeting of the season, the Honda Grand Prix Of St Petersburg in Florida with race day set for Monday morning (NZ time).
Dixon, who finished third in the championship last year with two race victories and nine top-10 finishes, believes reliability will be a key to his chances this season.
"Last year was decent; we had lots of ups and downs," Dixon said."We had five DNFs and we had our thing (penalty) at Milwaukee and I stepped on my toes at Texas ... and we only lost the championship by 35 points.
"If we fix those two issues, we should be looking good. Reliability and a little bit of consistency are needed.
"We've worked really hard, but you never really see until you get into the season. This year, we want to make up some points and refuel a little bit (better)."
Dixon has a liking for the Florida meeting though he's yet to win there. Last year Dixon led in St Petersburg for 37 of the 100 laps before eventually finishing second to Helio Castroneves.
It was his third second placing there in eight years.
American Ryan Hunter-Reay and Australian Will Power finished ahead of Dixon on last year's drivers' table and they, along with Brazilian Castroneves are expected to be the Kiwi's main rivals again this season.
Power topped the table for fastest lap in the final testing session on the Barber track in Birmingham, Alabama last week.
Hunter-Reay was fifth with Dixon sixth and Franchitti 15th.