Today's IndyCar race at Laguna Seca was a little bit of a mess. Eight yellows flew over the race, including a handful for crashes that actually happened in turn 11 before the field crossed the start-finish line for the next restart. That meant a busy day for the Civic Type R pace car. Too busy, apparently.
— INDYCAR on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) September 10, 2023
Yes, that is a pace car being re-fueled by a hand can in the middle of a race. With so many laps run under caution, the Civic apparently came close enough to running out of fuel that it needed an additional fill-up.
Despite the turbocharged motor that makes it one of the most exciting affordable performance cars in the world, the Civic still has just a 12.4-gallon tank. Add that the car is unlikely to get anywhere near its EPA-rated 24 MPG while pacing a field of IndyCars around a challenging road course ahead of the start eight separate times afterward and the Type R is suddenly not prepared for this particular job. Fortunately, someone had a gas can that could fuel a road car nearby and the car was able to complete the race.
As this was an IndyCar race with eight cautions caused by things like pile-ups in the first corner of the first lap and pile-ups in the final corner before a re-start actually begins, Scott Dixon went on to win the race even after being penalized for causing a collision on lap 1. Dixon went off strategy early, overcoming both the penalty and an earlier pre-race penalty for an engine change to grab his third victory of the season. All three were won with perfect fuel mileage strategy, propelling the six-time champion all the way up to second in the final series standings.
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