29 May 2017

Dixon crashes out of Indy 500

7:26 pm on 29 May 2017

New Zealand motor racing driver Scott Dixon has survived a spectacular crash at the Indianapolis 500.

Dixon, who started on pole, was running down the field when he hit another car that had lost control.

Dixon's car then somersaulted through the air and landed upside down on the railings.

Fortunately he walked away from the crash which happened after 50 of the 200 laps.

Scott Dixon survives a spectacular crash at the Indianapolois 500.

Scott Dixon walked away from the firey crash. Photo: Screenshot / ABC

"It's tough, you know, I think when you make those decisions of which way to go... you know I was hoping that Jay [Howard] was going to stay against the wall but obviously with the impact it then started to turn down.

"But I'd already picked that way to go and there was nowhere else to try and avoid him so I'm glad he's okay too.

"It's just a wild ride, you just hold on and believe in the safety progress that we've had over the last many years."

Takuma Sato fought off a challenge from Helio Castroneves to become the first Japanese driver to win the race while Fernando Alonso's Indy adventure ended in familiar frustration.

Sato, who entered the race with one IndyCar victory on his resume, claimed the series' biggest prize and in the process denied Castroneves a record-equalling fourth Indy 500 win and a place in the Brickyard's most exclusive club.

Sato powered past Castroneves with only five laps to go in the 200-lap race around the 2.5 mile (4.02 km) oval then bravely held off the Brazilian while screaming in delight as he took the checkered flag.

Twice Formula One world champion Alonso, who skipped the Monaco Grand Prix to make his IndyCar debut, led for 27 laps and looked ready to earn a fairytale victory until he suffered a familiar fate when his Honda engine expired with 21 laps to go.

It was a case of deja vu for Alonso, who came to the Indy 500 partly to escape the engine problems plaguing his McLaren Formula One team and chase a second jewel in motor racing's Triple Crown.

Overall it was an impressive display by Alonso who until this month had never driven an IndyCar or raced on an oval.

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Scott Dixon says it was a "wild ride". Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Scott Dixon's mother, Glenys Dixon, said she was glad she missed his crash live on television, because she would have freaked out.

She told Checkpoint she was watching the coverage on the television with her daughter, but it went to an ad break just moments before the crash.