IRL: Homestead: Panoz G Force Friday report

Dixon Leader of Panoz G Force Pack Reigning 2003 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon was quickest in opening practice for the Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and ended up second for the day in his ...

Dixon Leader of Panoz G Force Pack

Reigning 2003 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon was quickest in opening practice for the Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and ended up second for the day in his #1 Team Target Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone Indy car. Lapping the 1.5-mile reconfigured banked oval at 24.6819 seconds (216.596mph), the Kiwi earned the third quickest lap of dual practice sessions.

"We had a few problems to start with this afternoon," Dixon explained. "We made some changes from this morning," and needed to revert to earlier settings. "I was very comfortable in the car this afternoon and had no major problems," the Kiwi said. "We cleaned up whatever issues we had and, while we still have a lot of work to do, feel good about the car."

Buddy Rice earned the eighth quickest speed in his first drive of Team Rahal's #15 Pioneer/Argent Mortgage Panoz G Force/Honda. The Arizona native's lap of 24.7537 seconds (215.968mph) came this afternoon and Rice thought, "It was a good day for our team. Considering this is really only our third day of testing, I am pleased. We have been concentrating on the race setup and the car is much improved from our test here a month ago." Team owner Bobby Rahal added, "I think we are getting a better handle on the new Panoz G Force chassis, but we still have some ways to go learning the car."

Panoz G Force designer Simon Marshall was pleased with today's progress. "The cars appear to be good in traffic," he said after the day was done. "We're definitely in the hunt. On these high banked ovals we've carried too much drag so we've gone back to the wind tunnel, taken some drag off and improved air intake to the engine.

Single car qualifying Saturday afternoon sets the field for Sunday's Toyota Indy 300.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Scott Dixon , Buddy Rice