IRL: Motegi: Panther Racing qualifying report

Taylor, Scheckter Top Two Chevrolet Qualifiers MOTEGI, JAPAN -- The Panther Racing tandem of Mark Taylor and Tomas Scheckter will start Saturday's Indy Japan 300 as the top two Chevrolet qualifiers. Indy Racing League rookie Mark Taylor...

Taylor, Scheckter Top Two Chevrolet Qualifiers

MOTEGI, JAPAN -- The Panther Racing tandem of Mark Taylor and Tomas Scheckter will start Saturday's Indy Japan 300 as the top two Chevrolet qualifiers. Indy Racing League rookie Mark Taylor posted his best lap of the weekend during qualifications Friday at Twin Ring Motegi, and will start in the fourteenth position. The 2003 Menards Pro Series Champion ran a fast lap of 203.787 mph, nearly three miles per hour faster than his quickest practice lap of the weekend. Taylor was the top Chevrolet qualifier and will start the Indy Japan 300 in the seventh row.

"I'm extremely impressed with the progress we've made this weekend," Taylor said. "The Panther guys really had to work hard last night and this morning to get the Menards/Johns Manville car ready to qualify. We had some problems yesterday and were way down on speed, but then this morning we made some real progress. The car was even better during the qualifying run. The most important thing is I'm comfortable with the track now and we'll be even faster when it's time to go racing tomorrow."

Pennzoil Panther driver Tomas Scheckter will start two positions behind his rookie teammate in sixteenth. Scheckter turned a lap of 202.952 mph, 26.962 seconds.

"I'm disappointed with our qualifying run because we have a much better car than we showed," Tomas said. "I didn't have my best run and the wind caught me out on the backstretch, so it wasn't our best effort. The Pennzoil car is very good in traffic and stays consistent on long runs, which is what is important. So I don't think the starting position will be a problem for the race. We're very happy with all the hard work the Chevrolet guys have done for us as well, because the motor is strong and reliable. So we're looking for a great finish at Motegi tomorrow."

The Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 starts Saturday at 12:30 p.m. local time and will be broadcast in the United States at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN.

-pr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Mark Taylor
Teams Panther Racing