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New Zealand's preeminent motor racing driver, Scott Dixon, won't be driving for the Kiwi A1 Grand Prix team this season. The 2003 Indy Car Series champion and his Target Indy Car Team have indicated his focus needs to be on their 2006 race season which starts in little more than a week with testing in Phoenix. The IRL Championship opener is in Miami on March 26. Dixon had been keen to drive for New Zealand at meetings in Mexico in late February and the United States in mid-March, but appreciates he has to get to grips with a new engine and chassis if he is to be an IRL frontrunner. A1 Team.NZL chief executive Bob McMurray says the Chip Ganassi Racing Team that has employed Dixon since May 2002 thought long and hard about the A1 opportunity. "Scott drives with a great deal of national pride, so to deny our request was very difficult for them," McMurray said. "Their thinking is that if Scott is able to accomplish his personal goal to win races, the Indy 500 and the Championship, New Zealand will benefit in the same way that it has with Michael Campbell winning the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst." Dixon was a guest of the New Zealand team at the German and Dubai rounds of A1GP and enjoyed driving Black Beauty during two 20 minute test sessions in Dubai. While McMurray is disappointed Dixon won't be behind the steering wheel again, he fully appreciates the reasons for the road block. "Chip's Target team has a huge campaign to get through with an all-new line-up: new Honda engine, new Dallara Chassis and a new team mate in Dan Wheldon," McMurray said. "In essence, this is a new era for them and we appreciate their approach and wish them well. We would like to keep in touch and hope Scott can drive for us in the future."
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