Sporting Achievement of the Year 2013 Finalist: Scott Dixon
IndyCar - New Zealand
The 2013 America's Cup involved a comeback for the ages - although not in New Zealand's favour - and the All Blacks' revival against Ireland will not be quickly forgotten.
By comparison, Scott Dixon's incredible IndyCar Series ride may have been overlooked by the wider sports public. However, our Indy ace's comeback was every bit as remarkable, and perhaps even more so given the high octane world of American motor racing.
The 33-year-old recorded his third series win, to go with victories in 2003 and 2008. He finished with the most wins (four) and top-five (nine) finishes in the 19-race series, but at the halfway point Dixon looked beaten. A series of mishaps and mistakes had him in seventh place after 10 races, 92 points behind Brazil's Helio Castroneves.
What followed was a true sporting miracle. The dramatic improvements and calls made by Dixon and his Ganassi/Honda team make Oracle's yachting u-turn look like child's play.
You name it, and the south Auckland-raised Dixon experienced it in terms of disasters this season. This included a potential win being wrecked by a penalty, back to 15th, after knocking the tyre from a rival crewman's hands on a pit exit. There were flashes of anger from the normally controlled Kiwi as the bloopers kept coming.
The revival was built on three consecutive race victories, within eight July days, at Pennsylvania and Toronto. By the end of the penultimate weekend in Houston, where Castroneves suffered gearbox disasters, Dixon had turned a 49-point deficit into a 25-point advantage. Dixon had overheating issues during the final race at California but his fifth placing ensured the Brazilian was kept at bay.
What impressed many observers, besides Dixon's unquestioned skill, was his toughness, the ability to hang in when the going was rough to keep himself in the title race.
Dixon said: "It's been a hard year on a lot of people ... I still can't believe that we've actually won the championship."
One American motor racing writer claimed: "There's no question the three-time champ earned himself a permanent seat among the legends."
- 28.08.2015 : Oriol Servia to Drive Justin Wilson's No. 25 Car in IndyCar Finale | IndyCar - Sonoma, CA
- 27.08.2015 : Alise Post 1st, Sam Willoughby 3rd at Sweden BMX | BMX - Angelholm, Sweden
- 26.08.2015 : Juan Montoya: Job To Do But With Sadness in Heart | IndyCar - Sonoma, CA
- 24.08.2015 : TLD’s Jessy Nelson Closes 2015 Championship With a Podium in Indiana | AMA Pro Motocross - Crawfordsville, IN
- 24.08.2015 : TLD's Aaron Gwin Clinches 2015 DH MTB World Cup Championship Title | MTB - Val di Sole, Italy
- 21.08.2015 : Semenuk Revels In The Glory Of 3rd Consecutive Red Bull Joyride Win | Freeride MTB - Whistler, Canada
- 20.08.2015 : Gibbs On Verge of Clinching National MX1 Crown | MX Nationals - Australia
- 19.08.2015 : Mountain Biker Brandon Semenuk’s unReal Video: Long Shot Pays Off | Freeride MTB
- 18.08.2015 : TLD’s Jessy Nelson Collects Eighth Top-10 Finish at Utah National | AMA Pro Motocross - Tooele, UT
- 18.08.2015 : TLD’s Noren Starts the Day Strong in Utah | AMA Pro Motocross - Tooele, UT