IRL: Gateway: G Force qualifying report

Ward leads four G Force cars in top ten at Gateway Chip Ganassi Racing's Jeff Ward led a quartet of G Force chassis in the top ten in qualifying today for the Gateway Indy 250 in St. Louis. After enduring a tough run in recent races, Ward ...

Ward leads four G Force cars in top ten at Gateway

Chip Ganassi Racing's Jeff Ward led a quartet of G Force chassis in the top ten in qualifying today for the Gateway Indy 250 in St. Louis.

After enduring a tough run in recent races, Ward bounced back to strong form to head last race winner Felipe Giaffone (7th), Robbie Buhl (8th) and last race pole winner Sarah Fisher (9th).

Ward waved off his first qualifying attempt, electing to change gear ratios before getting a final single lap run.

"We went quicker than we did even in practice and we knew 173.5mph would get us in the top five or six," Ward said.

"When you change something like that (gears) without running it, it's probably a little too hard. So we just switched back to the gear we ran in practice.

"We came back and got one lap, and we’re pretty happy with it.”

Dreyer and Reinbold Racing team-mates Buhl and Fisher remain confident of a strong showing in tomorrow's 200 lap event after putting both Infiniti-powered G Force cars in the top ten. Buhl finished 5th in last year's Gateway event which was won by a G Force chassis.

"All in all, everything was OK. Here, where you qualify does make a difference," Buhl said.

"Getting in and out of the pit lane, because it's so narrow, is the key for your position and makes the race strategy so important.

"Last year we were in a position to win this race, and a yellow came out right at the end, which didn't help us. The quality of everyone here is close, and you need every advantage not only to keep up, but to stay up front."

Last start winner Giaffone has concentrated on the race set-up in his Mo Nunn Racing G Force, believing that will be the secret to the success at the tight Gateway oval.

"Starting seventh is not bad. It's about what we were expecting," Giaffone said.

"I believe we are going to be in good shape for the race. We intend to use the morning practice on Sunday to try a different setup for gearing.

"It will help a lot for the race, and I believe the teams starting up front have figured it out."

Part of Don Panoz's Elan Motorsport Technologies organization, the G Force headquarters in Georgia features full in-house design, fabrication, machining and composite construction facilities.

The American manufacturer has entered a major growth period, opening a new design center in the UK and recruiting new Chief Designer, Simon Marshall and new Chief Executive Officer, David Bowes. Both were previously at Lola Cars International Ltd.

-g force-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Felipe Giaffone , Robbie Buhl , Jeff Ward , Don Panoz , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing