IndyCar’s Scott Dixon goes back to school

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Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon is looking forward to the “Spring Training” sessions next week at Barber Motorsports Park, but before he straps into the No. 9 Target Honda, he made time to visit with some of IndyCar’s younger fans this week.

On Thursday, Dixon came to Vestavia Hills Elementary School East (Vestavia, Alabama) – not too far away from the 2.3-mile Barber road course near Birmingham – as part of promotions for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 7 (3 pm ET, NBC Sports Network). About 600 students assembled to greet the 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner and two-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion.

Dixon also made the rounds at local media outlets, and praised the Barber layout for its challenging nature.

“It’s a tough track and very rewarding when you get it right,” Dixon said in a Thursday appearance on Birmingham’s WZNN-FM. “The cool thing about Barber Motorsports Park is that it has everything — you have slow-speed, tight corners, high-speed [corners], elevation. It’s tough to combine that these days. Most modern circuits are flat and they don’t really have any natural elevation.”

The Birmingham News talked with Dixon following his time with the Vestavia Hills East students, which you can see below.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”