Scott Dixon has taken our team to new levels - Chip Ganassi

Team owner Chip Ganassi says five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon has taken his squad to new levels during his long tenure with the team.

The 2019 NTT IndyCar season will see Dixon begin his 17th year with Chip Ganassi Racing as the reigning series champion, during which time he has been able to rack up 43 victories, which has put him third in the all-time rankings, behind only A. J. Foyt and Mario Andretti.

Dixon has also taken over 100 podiums during his lengthy spell with the team in the category.

"To say I’m excited about Scott would be the understatement of the year," Ganassi told IndyCar.com.

"He’s taken our team to a new level in terms of how we look at things and how we approach things. I like our No. 1 driver."

Dixon's consistent form was one of the key factors in helping the Kiwi clinch his fifth title in 2018, only finishing twice out of the top six places over the course of the 17-race season. Ganassi has always instilled the philosophy of being able to pick up points wherever possible into his drivers.

"It will take the same as it always does to win a championship," added Ganassi. "You have to have clean weekends. You have to score points in every race. You may have a down weekend, but you have to put that behind you quickly.

"You have to perform at all different circuits. That’s going to be a tall order for drivers, our engineering staff and the whole team. You have to keep pace with technology and utilize it to make the car go faster. It’s a lot of work, but we are up for the challenge."

Dixon will have a new team-mate for 2019 in the form of Felix Rosenqvist, who arrives in IndyCar with a wealth of experience across several championships.

Rosenqvist won the 2015 European Formula 3 Championship, as well as two Macau Grands Prix, and has also spent successful stints in Super Formula, Super GT, DTM, Formula E and Indy Lights.

"He has a lot of history in formula cars in Europe," added the team boss. "I think he’ll make a smooth transition into IndyCar."

IndyCar's only official test is set to get underway at the Circuit Of The Americas on February 12-13.

The first race of the season is in St.Petersburg, Florida on March 10.