IndyCar: Kiwi Scott Dixon finishes second in season opener

Kiwi Scott Dixon.
Kiwi Scott Dixon. Photo credit: AAP

Defending IndyCar champion Scott Dixon has opened the 2019 season, with a second-place finish at the Grand Prix of St Petersburg.

Starting from fourth on the grid, Kiwi Dixon managed to climb two places to finish second in the 110-lap race, 2.89s behind American Josef Newgarden.

The result was Dixon's fourth second-place finish at the Florida track. In his 19th season, he's never won at St. Petersburg.

After the race, the 38-year-old admitted his drink bottle wasn't working for the entire race.

"It was pretty physical with no fluids," Dixon said. "The car was fast during the first 15 laps, but in the last 10 laps, we fell off a bit.

"A big points weekend for us, hopefully we can carry momentum. I still want to win at this place.

"Huge credit to Josef, he drove a hell of a race."

The Honda driver now had 103 career podium finishes.

Dixon's rookie teammate, Felix Rosenqvist, finished fourth in his debut, while his main rival from last season, Alexander Rossi, was fifth.

Australian Will Power, who started on pole, had to settle for third.

The next race is in a fortnight at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.