Scott Dixon, Chip Ganasssi featured in upcoming IndyCar movie, ‘Born Racer’

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If you’re an IndyCar fan – particularly if you’re a fan of IndyCar’s Scott Dixon and Chip Ganassi Racing – you’ll definitely want to check out the trailer to the upcoming Universal movie, “Born Racer.”

The documentary features:

  • Dixon, a four-time IndyCar champion and 41-race IndyCar winner, who after 18 years of IndyCar racing, still has an unrelenting drive to win
  • Why drivers feel so compelled to risk their lives in order to succeed
  • Ganassi, one of the most prolific and successful owners in motorsports
  • The all-encompassing life of everyone involved in the CGR IndyCar operation, both on- and off-track

As Ganassi likes to say, “We live to race. There is nothing else.”

Check out the trailer above.

Also, here’s some excerpts from Friday’s post-practice press conference that included Dixon and Ganassi talking about the upcoming movie:

DIXON: “It’s definitely for me not something I’m really keen on. I guess we had some iterations before, processes that we had talked about. This one just felt like the perfect fit. The people that were involved, the concept, what we were trying to get out of it. For me, actually Emma (his wife) and I, the first time we saw it probably two weeks ago, it was just really exciting and really cool to see the detail that nobody really gets to see.

“I think going through my career, you get asked so many different questions, Why do you do this, what about your family, blah, blah, blah. This is just unprecedented, back-stage access people don’t get to see. It’s got something for everyone to, one, understand the sport of IndyCar, the sport of racing, being in a competitive environment, then also the numerous amount of people that make this happen. It’s such a team sport. A lot of people forget about that as well.

“I’m really excited for it (the movie). I think there’s lots of cool stories, lots of cool, interesting people in there that they captured really well. For me, that was the biggest thing. When I’m out on track, I don’t get to see what’s going on behind the scenes. Even for me, it was a definitely a breath of fresh air, really fun to see that process.”

CHIP GANASSI: “Start with the speed. These are fast racing cars. They’re a lot faster than NASCAR cars, quite a bit faster than a Formula 1 car. To me speed is at the essence of racing. Anybody can race bumper cars around, 50 miles an hour. You’re talking about a skill level that very few people on the planet might have.

“You get into this sport and you have this desire to win. I obviously was a driver before. When I started a team, I always wanted to have a team that drivers would want to drive for. When you have a desire to win, you try to surround yourself with like-minded people, that have that same unrelenting desire to win. It starts small with people in the team. You bring people onto the team. It sort of snowballs, this unrelenting desire to win kind of snowballs.

“Drivers come along like Scott Dixon that have that same unrelenting desire to win. It feeds upon itself. I have to tell you whether it’s the team members, whether it’s the partners in the team, the sponsors, the PR people, the guy mopping the floor to the people that answer the phone, everybody in the organization is focused on people with an unrelenting desire to win.

“I think what Matthew and the people from Universal have captured in this film is just that. That’s so rare because we oftentimes are caught up in talking about cars and fans and engines and body kits, safety of course. At the essence of why people like Scott Dixon, why people like Mike Hull, the engineers, all these guys, at the essence of all that is an unrelenting desire to win. Everything else is sort of peripheral to that, if you will.

“It’s not often you get people in from the outside like the film people or Universal for that matter, that want to capture that. It’s easy to capture the simple things like the hoopla, the fans, the food, say it’s fast, same old shots you see all the time. But these guys were different. I think they wanted to get to that essence of an unrelenting desire to win. I think they’ve captured that.”

Cadillac, Acura battle for top speed as cars back on track for Rolex 24 at Daytona practice

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The new hybrid prototypes of Cadillac and Acura battled atop the speed chart as practice resumed Thursday for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Chip Ganassi Racing driver Richard Westbrook was fastest Thursday afternoon in the No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh with a 1-minute, 35.185-second lap around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway.

That pace topped Ricky Taylor’s 1:35.366 lap that topped the Thursday morning session that marked the first time the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was back on track since qualifying Sunday afternoon that concluded the four-day Roar Before The Rolex 24 test.

Punctuated by Tom Blomqvist’s pole position for defending race winner Meyer Shank Racing, the Acura ARX-06s had been fastest for much of the Roar and led four consecutive practice sessions.

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But the times have been extremely tight in the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) category that has brought hybrid engines to IMSA’s premier class. Only 0.9 seconds separated the nine LMDh cars in GTP in qualifying, and though the spread slightly widened to 1.378 seconds in Thursday’s practices with teams on varying strategies and preparation, Westbrook still pooh-poohed the importance of speeds.

“It’s always nice to be at the top, but I don’t think it means too much or read too much into it” Westbrook said. “Big fuel tanks in the GTP class this year, so you have no idea what fuel levels people are running. We had a good run, and the car is really enjoyable to drive now. I definitely wasn’t saying that a month ago.

“It really does feel good now. We are working on performance and definitely unlocking some potential, and it just gives us more confidence going into the race. It’s going to be super tight. Everyone’s got the same power, everyone has the same downforce, everyone has the same drag levels and let’s just go race.”

Because teams have put such a premium on reliability, handling mostly has suffered in the GTPs, but Westbrook said the tide had turned Thursday.

“These cars are so competitive, and you were just running it for the sake of running it in the beginning, and there’s so much going on, you don’t really have time to work on performance,” he said. “A lot of emphasis was on durability in the beginning, and rightly so, but now finally we can work on performance, and that’s the same for other manufacturers as well. But we’re worrying about ourselves and improving every run, and I think everybody’s pretty happy with their Cadillac right now.”

Mike Shank, co-owner of Blomqvist’s No. 60 on the pole, said his team still was facing reliability problems despite its speed.

“We address them literally every hour,” Shank said. “We’re addressing some little thing we’re doing better to try to make it last. And also we’re talking about how we race the race, which will be different from years past.

“Just think about every system in the car, I’m not going to say which ones we’re working on, but there are systems in the car that ORECA and HPD are continually trying to improve. By the way, sometimes we put them on the car and take them off before it even goes out on the track because something didn’t work with electronics. There’s so much programming. So many departments have to talk to each other. That bridge gets broken from a code not being totally correct, and the car won’t run. Or the power steering turns off.”

Former Rolex 24 winner Renger van der Zande of Ganassi said it still is a waiting game until the 24-hour race begins Saturday shortly after 1:30 p.m.

“I think the performance of the car is good,” van der Zande said. “No drama. We’re chipping away on setup step by step and the team is in control. It’s crazy out there what people do on the track at the moment. It’s about staying cool and peak at the right moment, and it’s not the right moment yet for that. We’ll keep digging.”


PRACTICE RESULTS:

Click here for Session I (by class)

Click here for Session II (by class)

Combined speeds