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Lando Norris joins Carlin in Formula 2 for 2018 season

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McLaren youngster Lando Norris will move into Formula 2 for the 2018 season with Carlin, continuing his long-running partnership with the British team.

Norris, 18, won the FIA European Formula 3 title in 2017 as a rookie with Carlin in a competitive field, before signing off from the category with a podium finish in the Macau Grand Prix last weekend.

Norris was confirmed as McLaren’s official reserve and test driver in Formula 1 for 2018 earlier this month after an impressive test showing in July, and will balance these duties with a full-season F2 campaign.

Norris made his F2 debut in Abu Dhabi on Saturday with Campos in order to gain more experience in the series ahead of a full-time move for 2018, which was confirmed on Sunday.

“I’m going into 2018 unquestionably aiming to achieve more success by winning races. But 2018 will also be a big learning year,” Norris said.

“Getting experience of the increased power, enhanced aerodynamics, the [Pirelli] tires, the mandatory pit-stops and competing at new tracks like Bahrain, Baku and Sochi.

“It’s an educational year, I’ll be new to Formula 2 while Carlin is returning after a season out of the category. I’ll also be up against some very experienced F2 drivers. I’m hopeful it will work to our advantage that 2018 sees a newly designed [Dallara] car being raced for the first time since 2011.

“It’ll be my fourth year competing with Carlin. Trevor heads up a great operation at Carlin and I feel part of the ‘family’ there. It’s a friendly environment and one in which I feel very comfortable in.”

Norris will partner Sergio Sette Camara at Carlin next season, with the Brazilian also being confirmed by the team in Sunday’s announcement.

Carlin will return to F2 for 2018 after one season away, having last raced in the category when it was known as GP2 before being rebranded for this year.

Could Scott Dixon someday break Foyt, Andretti wins and championships records?

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With five races left in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season, Scott Dixon is in the driver’s seat to potentially earn a fifth career IndyCar championship.

After winning Sunday at Toronto, Dixon now has a 62-point edge over second-ranked and defending series champ Josef Newgarden and a 70-point lead over third-ranked Alexander Rossi.

The triumph north of the border was Dixon’s third there, as well as his 44th career IndyCar win, third-highest in IndyCar annals.

Add in the four IndyCar championships and those are stellar numbers indeed.

What makes things all the more amazing is Dixon has done all that in under 18 full seasons on the IndyCar circuit. Heck, he’s only 37 years old, too (although he turns 38 on July 22).

Dixon’s championships have come in 2003 (his first full season in IndyCar after two prior seasons in CART/Champ Car), 2008, 2013 and most recently in 2015.

The quiet, unassuming New Zealander has been one of the most successful drivers ever not just in IndyCar, but in all forms of motorsports.

When his name is mentioned, it’s typically included with the only two drivers who have more career wins than he does: A.J. Foyt (67 wins and seven championships, both records) and Mario Andretti (52 wins and four titles).

That’s a pretty lofty pair to be part of.

One might think that after all the success he’s had, Dixon could easily walk away from IndyCar and Chip Ganassi Racing and enjoy an early retirement.

But competing in and winning races isn’t really a job for Dixon. He enjoys what he’s doing so much that he easily could keep doing what he’s doing – and at a high level – for another seven or more years, at least.

So, can Dixon catch Mario and A.J.? The former would be easier than the latter, for sure.

Numerically, it’s possible – at least part of it:

* Dixon can easily be competitive into his mid-40s.

* He’s averaged three-plus wins every season since 2007 (37 wins from then through Sunday). That means if he can keep that average going, he could reach 24 more wins – to overtake Foyt – by 2026. Yes, that may be a stretch to even imagine, but if there’s any current driver who potentially could overtake Foyt, it’s Dixon.

* Dixon already has three wins this season, and with five more races still to go, he could easily win another one, two or maybe even three more in 2018 as he continues his road to the championship. And let’s not forget that with each additional win, that’s one win closer to overtaking Andretti and Foyt.

In his usual modest and humble manner, Dixon downplays not just talk comparing him with Andretti and Foyt, but also overtaking one or both.

“I think A.J. is pretty safe,” he said. “He’s a long ways ahead. … Eight (championships) is an infinity away. Takes a long time to get eight.”

But that doesn’t mean Dixon can’t keep working at approaching Foyt’s mark.

“I think for us, we take it race by race,” he said. “We’re in the business of winning races. If we’re not doing that, I won’t have a job for too long. That’s the focus for right now.”

If he wins the championship this year, he’ll pass Andretti’s championship mark. That would be one record down, three to go.

And if he can win nine more races over the next few seasons, he’ll pass Andretti’s 52 career wins, making it two records down and two more to go.

“Right now with 44 wins, next on the list is Mario I think at 52 or something,” Dixon said after Sunday’s win. “We’ll see how it goes. Right now, we’re just trying to get the job done for the team.”

And he’s doing a darn good job at that indeed – with likely even more success still to come.

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