Dixon sidelined by engine issue early at Road America

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Scott Dixon’s hopes of cutting the gap to Verizon IndyCar Series standings leader Simon Pagenaud were dashed early in the KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America by an engine issue.

Dixon qualified second on Saturday, finishing just two-tenths of a second behind pole-sitter Will Power in the Firestone Fast Six.

Dixon managed to hold on to second place early on despite an attempt by Tony Kanaan to dive down the inside at the first corner, running less than a second behind Power.

However, coming out of Turn 5, Dixon lost power and slowed before dropping to the back of the field.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver peeled off into the run-off area with smoke coming out the back of his car, having reported an engine issue to his team.

“He said something is wrong with the engine,” team managing director Mike Hull told IndyCar Radio.

“We will get the car back and see what is going on.”

“Definitely a bummer,” added Dixon. “The Clorox car was fast. Power in the No. 12 car started on stickers and we were on red, and we were getting really good fuel milage. Points are gonna hurt really bad.”

After 10 laps, Power continues to lead from Kanaan, Graham Rahal and Simon Pagenaud, with Helio Castroneves rounding out the top five.

You can tune into the race live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).