IRL: Motegi: Panther Racing Friday report

Meira Finishes 6th Quick in Final Japan Practice; Will Start 11th Panther Pack Gets Best Practice Result & Starting Position of 2006 MOTEGI, Japan -- Vitor Meira finished sixth-quick in the final practice session at Twin Ring Motegi after...

Meira Finishes 6th Quick in Final Japan Practice; Will Start 11th

Panther Pack Gets Best Practice Result & Starting Position of 2006

MOTEGI, Japan -- Vitor Meira finished sixth-quick in the final practice session at Twin Ring Motegi after qualifications for the Japan Indy 300 were rained out Friday. The Panther Network LIVE team will start 11th tomorrow. The starting positions for Saturday's race are based on entrant points from the previous two races of the 2006 IndyCar Series season. The practice result and qualification position are the highest yet for the Panther team.

Meira is tied with Andretti Green Racing's Dario Franchitti for 10th in the championship standings, but Franchitti secured the tenth position because his best finish (3rd at Homestead) was better than Meira's (5th at St. Pete).

Vitor will start in Row Six alongside Vision Racing's Tomas Scheckter, who led 47 laps last year while driving the No. 4 Pennzoil car for Panther Racing. Scheckter was leading when he ran out of fuel with less than two laps remaining in the event.

Vitor Meira Quote:

"This is the best I've felt in the No. 4 on an oval this season. I'm not worried about our starting position, because our Network LIVE Honda will be so good it doesn't matter if we're 20th or first. The main thing is that we need laps on the car for ourselves as a team so we can get everything settled. We still have a lot to do since we haven't got many laps on the ovals, but I know the Panther guys can do it. The best part about qualifications being cancelled is that we're in the middle of the championship and starting 11th is fine with us. We know we can win from there."

-pr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing