Felipe Giaffone and the ...
Felipe Giaffone and the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Chevrolet G-Force opened practice today for the 86th running of the Indianapolis 500 with a fast lap of 225.043 mph around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. It was the 13th-fastest lap of the day today and the fastest lap ever at the Speedway for Giaffone, last season's Indy Racing League Rookie of the Year while with Treadway/Hubbard Racing who had never broken the 220-mph barrier before today. Giaffone turned a total of 34 laps today. This is his first season with Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing, which is competing here for the first time in its three-year existence and is campaigning Giaffone full-time on the 2002 Indy Racing League. Giaffone finished 10th in last year's Indy 500.
Fellow Brazilian Tony Kanaan, who is with Mo Nunn Racing for his third season running in the CART FedEx Championship Series in 2002, is making his first career Indy 500 appearance as Giaffone's teammate. Kanaan and his #17 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Chevrolet G-Force turned a fast lap of 224.324 mph today, 19th fastest among all cars that took to the track on opening day of practice. The 1999 U.S. 500 winner turned a total of 33 laps today.
Scott Sharp, last year's polesitter here, had the fast lap of opening day at 227.571 mph. Last year's race-winner, Helio Castroneves, was second-fastest at 227.408 mph, followed by two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser, Jr., at 226.885. Practice resumes Monday at 11 a.m. local time (noon EDT) with Pole Day qualifying set for Saturday.
"That was a good start for us today. It feels really, really nice to go in the 220s right out of the box. The car felt great right away. That was the fastest I've ever gone here, so we're definitely headed in the right direction. We have a lot of time to trim the car and find some more speed from this point forward. I'm feeling more confident than ever. It's great to have a teammate. Tony and I have been racing together since we were 12, and it's nice to finally have him as a teammate. It makes our work here a lot more efficient. We are able to go off in two different directions, setup-wise, and we learn a lot from what happens with each other's car. It looks like it's going to be a pretty fun month. Let's keep our fingers crossed."