IRL: Motegi: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

* Coming Up This Weekend--Target Chip Ganassi Racing visits the "Land of the Rising Sun" for the IndyCar series' third visit to the Twin Ring Motegi facility which sits inside of a mountain top in Tochigi Prefecture, about 60 miles northeast of ...

* Coming Up This Weekend--Target Chip Ganassi Racing visits the "Land of the Rising Sun" for the IndyCar series' third visit to the Twin Ring Motegi facility which sits inside of a mountain top in Tochigi Prefecture, about 60 miles northeast of Tokyo, Japan. The track is a 1.5 mile high banked, uniquely egg-shaped, superspeedway and the race will be contested over 300 miles or 200 laps. It is the fourth race of the 17-race 2005 IRL IndyCar series season.

* Check Out the New Digs!--One of the team's three Target Toyotas will proudly display a special paint scheme for the Japan Indy. New team sponsor Pioneer has dressed up the #33 Target Pioneer Toyota driven by Ryan Briscoe for this weekend's race.

* Back to School--Darren Manning and Ryan Briscoe went back to school for a day as both Target drivers made visits to Motegi Elementary School and the Sashiro Kasama Municipal Elementary School and were warmly greeted by young Japanese students aged 5 to 12 years of age who read letters of welcome, asked the drivers questions and sang songs.

* Change of Plan-- As a result of Target Chip Ganassi Racing's relentless pursuit of perfection in the IRL IndyCar Series, the team's entry form for the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 has been changed to reflect the addition of a Dallara chassis for the #9 Target Toyota of Scott Dixon. Current entries for teammates Darren Manning (#10 Toyota Panoz) and Ryan Briscoe (#33 Toyota Panoz) remain unchanged.

"Now that our IndyCar program has expanded to three quality drivers, we feel that with a strong engineering and management group rooted deeply in information sharing, this would be the perfect time to gauge the team's performance on multiple levels," said Team Managing Director Mike Hull. "Now that the team is better able to monitor driver style and performance, it makes sense at this juncture to have direct comprehension and comparison of the two chassis. This team was built on racing excellence, and this is another step to ensuring Chip Ganassi Racing is doing everything in its power to maximize preparations and stay competitive."

The addition of the Dallara chassis adds to the team's open wheel arsenal, but is not indicative of a move to the Dallara chassis, or remaining with Panoz. Rather, with the reduction of track time and test days by IRL rules and standards, this will be the team's best way to monitor performance by matching data streams.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing has maintained a very positive and mutually beneficial relationship with the Panoz chassis dating back to 2000 when they joined forces to dominate and win the Indianapolis 500 with Juan Montoya. In addition, the two IndyCar racing staples scored another major victory after teaming up to capture the 2003 IndyCar title with New Zealander Dixon.

* Where the Rubber Meets the Road--According to Firestone engineers, the high-banked superspeedway at Twin Ring Motegi requires the company's most durable construction and compounds with high-heat durability.

* Looking Back --In 2003 Scott Dixon won the pole and the two Target Toyotas cars fought for the lead. Last year, both Target Chip Ganassi Racing cars crossed the finish line in the top five. From his tenth place starting position on the Twin Ring Motegi grid, Darren Manning took the checkered flag in fourth place while Dixon finished just behind his teammate in fifth spot, after starting the race from sixth spot on the grid and sporting a sore left ankle following an accident in the first practice of the race weekend.

* Did You Know That...? Part I--The Twin Ring Motegi facility got its name from the fact that it contains two major racing facilities, a 1.5-mile oval and a 3-mile, 14-turn road course that winds underneath and east of the oval. The IndyCar series will run, as it always has on the superspeedway oval this weekend.

* Did You Know That...? Part II-- After competing and living in Japan when he was racing in F3 during the later part of 1998 and all of the 1999 season Manning almost considers the Indy Japan a home race. Ryan Briscoe has also raced in Japan previously in Formula A Karts in 1997-98 and 1999.

* Watch it!-- Target fans can tune in to watch the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 on ESPN at Noon (EDT) on Saturday, April 30 (tape delayed) ,

* Listen in LIVE- Target fans can listen in to the IndyCar broadcast live by the IMS Radio Network at 11:30 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, April 29. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also will be available on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 "XM Extreme" and webcast on indycar.com

-cgr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Scott Dixon , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Mike Hull
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing