IndyCar driver Scott Dixon is off to one of his best starts to a season in a long time. The New Zealander finished a healthy second at the opening round of the championship on the streets of St Petersburg and is only eight points behind series leader Helio Castroneves.

The Izod IndyCar series has moved to Birmingham for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama this weekend and the drivers are again on a road course. Dixon's best finish at Barber is second and he's hoping for a good result again, but the form guide is no use this season as all the drivers are in new cars with new engines - the new Dallara DW12 chassis was introduced with new V6 engines from different manufacturers.

"We've got the first race under our belts, which is good because I think it's been two or three years since I've even finished at St Pete on the lead lap," said Dixon. "We didn't quite have the out and out speed we would have wanted in qualifying, but all in all the race was good."

There's been very little time between the two races for the teams to really do anything with the new cars and the Chevrolet-powered cars were a bit of a surprise.


"We hadn't seen much in pre-season testing but Chevy were very, very good in qualifying. It was a bit of a shock how quick they were, but not a major.

"This track should suit us a bit better as it has more grip. We should have a few more updates [engine] this week and hopefully it's a few more than Chevy or Lotus."