Pictured: Scott Dixon and engineer Chris Simmons.
With Scott Dixon signed to a new contract, the Chip Ganassi Racing team is working to maintain continuity around the four-time champion by keeping the rest of his No. 9 Honda effort intact. The same is true with the No. 10 Honda entry currently driven by Ed Jones.
“Hopefully, each of our team members see the value of loyalty moving forward as every one of them equally contributes to our continued success,” CGR managing director Mike Hull told RACER. “Our plan would be retention of each team member into 2019.
“Certainly, a back-handed compliment is that other teams continually try to poach team members at all vocational levels, including drivers, as it isn’t necessarily their skill set or the confidential information; it’s more getting a good download on the daily process that creates separation.”
Beyond his natural driving talent, Dixon’s success has been made possible through a low turnover rate on pit lane and on the timing stand. From No. 9 team manager Scott Harner to race engineer Chris Simmons and assistant engineer Kate Gundlach to veteran chief mechanic Blair Julian, Dixon’s crew have formed a tight-knit unit that is always in the mix for wins and titles.
Currently in the hunt for his fifth Verizon IndyCar Series championship, the Kiwi’s fortunes are heavily tied to those who support his efforts.
“This is very much a people business,” Hull added. “And continuity provides direction with purpose when complacency isn’t allowed. The hardest part of teamwork is to accept the validation of winning as a group, rather than with individual agenda.
“Due to its highly charged emotional nature, it’s fun to be part of a group that supports each other on both the worst of days and the very best of days. The No. 9 group is Zen-like with their focus on only today – it’s a great ride.”