Dixon’s No. 9 car to feature “Jurassic World” in Toronto

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Target won’t be the primary signage on Scott Dixon’s No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Chevrolet this weekend in Toronto. Instead, Jurassic World will be.

See the release from CGR below:

Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced today that three-time Verizon IndyCar Series Champion and former Indianapolis 500 Winner Scott Dixon will be sporting a special paint scheme featuring Jurassic World, the long-awaited next installment of Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking Jurassic Park series from Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, in Round 10 of the Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend at the Honda Indy Toronto (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

The No. 9 Jurassic World Chevrolet will hit the streets of downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada June 12 for practice with Dixon behind the wheel, the same day the film is scheduled to open worldwide.

Notes of Interest:

  • About Jurassic World: The story of Steven Spielberg’s original comes full circle as the park that was only a promise comes to life. Welcome to Jurassic World, a fully operational luxury resort off the coast of Costa Rica where 20,000 guests explore the wonder of Earth’s most magnificent living prehistoric marvels—of every shape and size—and interact up close with them every day.

When the massive and mysterious Indominus rex stages an escape and disappears into the jungle, order turns to mayhem and guests turn into prey. Dinosaurs escape into the open, skies and water to engage in an all-out war for survival, and no corner within the world’s greatest theme park is safe anymore.

Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, BD Wong and Irrfan Khan star in the 3D epic action-adventure that is directed by Colin Trevorrow and based on characters created by Michael Crichton. The screenplay is by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Derek Connolly & Trevorrow, and the story is by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver.  Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley join the team as producers. www.jurassicworld.com

  • Did You Know? 

–    Steven Spielberg hired director Colin Trevorrow to lens Jurassic World after he watched the director’s independent film, Safety Not Guaranteed. The very last scene in the movie clinched the deal for the legendary filmmaker. He actually jumped out of his seat when he saw it.

–   Chris Pratt’s character, Owen, works with four Velociraptors in the film. Their names are Charlie, Echo, Blue and Delta.

–   Because she’s at work when things run amok, Bryce Dallas Howard’s character, Claire, must spend the ENTIRE movie in high heels on the run from assets that have escaped.

–   As a nod to the first film, Jake Johnson’s character, Lowery, wears a Jurassic Park T-shirt when you first see him.

  • Dixon at Toronto: In 10 career Verizon IndyCar Series starts on the Streets of Toronto, Dixon has two wins, three podiums and seven top-five finishes. He swept the doubleheader weekend races in 2013, winning from the fifth starting position and pole position, respectively. Dixon has never qualified outside the top-10 and has only finished outside the top-10 twice in his career in Toronto.
  • About Scott Dixon: The New Zealander holds sole possession of fifth place on the all-time Indy car wins list with 37 after posting wins at Long Beach and Texas this season. All but one of his 37 victories have come as a member of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser is next on the list with 39 career wins. CGRT is a 10-time Verizon IndyCar Series Champion with 99 victories, 84 pole positions and four wins in the Indianapolis 500.

Quote Board:

  • Scott Dixon, Driver No. 9 Jurassic World Chevrolet: “The Toronto race weekend is always great because of the local fan interest and the excitement of the city. Carrying the Jurassic World paint scheme just adds to it. It’s a classic movie series with a massive following and the timing for running this livery in step with the movie release couldn’t be better. We’ve had some good runs recently at Toronto and I hope we can do our part again to make it a successful weekend for everyone involved.”

IndyCar’s ‘Phoenix’ flying into 2023 season: Romain Grosjean enjoying the pilot’s life

IndyCar Romain Grosjean pilot
Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – The IndyCar driver known as “The Phoenix” already has taken flight before the 2023 season, and newly licensed pilot Romain Grosjean also got a head start on the opener.

Fulfilling a dream several years in the making, the Andretti Autosport plunged into aviation training over the offseason. Since beginning with online studying last August, Grosjean quickly progressed to earning his licenses for multiengine planes and instrument ratings while completing 115 hours of flight time.

He has landed twice at Albert Whitted Airport, whose primary runway also doubles as the front straightaway on the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg street course.

“Just to land on the start-finish line, that was pretty cool,” Grosjean said during IndyCar Preseason Content Days ahead of the Feb. 2-3 test at The Thermal Club. “The air traffic control guy was like, “Yeah, left on Acre Five, turn, and then back. I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s the last corner of the racetrack, I’ll take it and go back to the pit lane. He was like, ‘Oh, yeah, yeah, that’s true.’ So it was quite funny.”

Grosjean, 36, said he had wanted to become a pilot since he was 30 but was discouraged by Europe’s complicated and time-consuming licensing process (“to go to ground school twice a week, and with our life, it’s impossible”). He was inspired again last year by (now former) teammate Alexander Rossi, who flew to some 2022 races after earning his license a couple of years ago.

“I thought that was pretty cool,” said Grosjean, who had grown “bored of waiting in the airports.”

He plans to fly to nearly all the races this year (“if the weather is good enough, I’ll be flying”) and jokes about being “commercial by the end of the year, so then I can take Roger (Penske). Roger can pay me to fly him around to races if things go bad with racing.”

Grosjean’s social media has been filled with posts about his new hobby, which afforded him the opportunity recently to take his wife to Key West for lunch from their home in the Miami area. The trip took 37 minutes there and 41 minutes on return and highlighted why Grosjean loves flying: “Freedom. Freedom to go anywhere you want, anytime you want. It’s the beauty of it. We can go to the Bahamas for a day if we want to. Anywhere. I think that’s just great to know that you can do whatever you want.”

It’s reminiscent of the cross-country trip across the Midwest in an RV that Grosjean took with his family during the summer of his 2021 rookie season.

“There’s one thing that I told my kids, and I told my friend about America, and for me, that’s the biggest difference between Europe and here, is here everything is possible,” said Grosjean (whose “Phoenix” nickname was derived from a brush with death in his final Formula One start). “If you have the wish, if you give yourself the possibility of doing it, everything is possible. It is different in Europe. Much more boundaries on the way. Much more steps that you need to do in a certain order. But if you want to be extraordinary (in the United States), if you want to do something different, you don’t need to do those steps because you can work through.

“Yeah, I like doing things, and when I do them, I like doing them well. But here I think just the opportunity of driving the RV, flying planes, for my kids to do whatever they want to do, we love that here. Yeah, it’s been the best discovery for us.”

The Swiss-born Frenchman already has flown himself to a race this year, jetting up the Florida coast for his Rolex 24 at Daytona debut last month. It was his debut as a Lamborghini factory driver, and his new deal will continue with the Twelve Hours of Sebring and possibly the Petit Le Mans while he also helps develop the automaker’s new hybrid prototype (LMDh) for next year.

Grosjean, who finished a disappointing 13th in the 2022 points standings with one podium for Andretti in his first full season, said IndyCar will remain his priority in 2024.

But he hopes the IndyCar schedule will afford racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship endurance races and perhaps another his longest plane flight yet — a return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“I’ll keep my fingers crossed like that we get the weekend off from IndyCar,” said Grosjean, noting that 10 IndyCar drivers were in the Rolex 24. “I think it would make a lot of sense. I think for both series it’s amazing. If we can get Le Mans, it’s also amazing because it’s just cool.

“I remember Mario flying across the Atlantic doing Monaco and the Indy 500, and those guys, they were racing everywhere, Formula 3, Formula 2, Formula 1. They were doing the races in opening of the Formula 1 race, and I think that’s very cool for us. So yeah, looking forward to the project. There’s going to be a lot of development coming on. By the time we finish the IndyCar season, the LMDh will be here in the States, and that’s when I’m going to spend a lot of time on it.”