Berliner Tageblatt - Kiwi racer Dixon wins IndyCar Long Beach Grand Prix

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Kiwi racer Dixon wins IndyCar Long Beach Grand Prix
Kiwi racer Dixon wins IndyCar Long Beach Grand Prix / Photo: © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File

Kiwi racer Dixon wins IndyCar Long Beach Grand Prix

New Zealand's Scott Dixon held off American Colton Herta on a tight-fuel run over the final laps to win Sunday's IndyCar Long Beach Grand Prix.

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The 43-year-old Kiwi, who also won on the Southern California streets in 2015, clung to first over the tension-packed last of 85 laps as Herta and American Josef Newgarden closed on him over the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street course.

"That was really tough. I didn't think we were going to make it," Dixon said. "I was close but not enough. I kept it on the safe side.

"Hopefully we can keep doing this this year. It was tough."

Herta was the runner-up by 0.9798 of a second followed by Spain's Alex Palou, Newgarden and Sweden's Marcus Ericsson.

With 20 laps remaining, Dixon needed to conserve fuel to reach the finish line while Newgarden chased him down on full tanks.

But Herta's car struck the rear of Newgarden's car in a hairpin curve, causing Newgarden to stall as Herta and Palou sped past.

"He just misjudged it and ran into me," Newgarden said. "I got lifted up into the air. It stalled there for a minute. That was my last chance. I dont know how (Dixon) went as far as he did."

Herta accepted blame for the collision, saying, "He set up pretty wide and was coming back in. It was up to me to judge the speed going into the corner and I misjudged it."

Herta made a final charge as well but also failed to overtake Dixon, who has made a career trademark of such strategic runs.

"It was way up there," Dixon said when asked to compare this one to his best such wins. "The stress level was high. They were coming hard."

In the end, Dixon had fuel enough for spinouts to celebrate the win.

"We made it back to the pits," he said. "We had loads left."

Newgarden, who won last month's IndyCar season opener at St. Petersburg, Florida, made his 200th IndyCar start.

Dixon, who captured his 57th career IndyCar victory, moved to second behind Newgarden in the season points race with the third event of the campaign next Sunday at Birmingham, Alabama.

F.Müller--BTB