IRL: Phoenix: Panoz G Force race report

Dixon Second, Manning Fifth For Panoz G Force AVONDALE, AZ, March 21, 2004 Scott Dixon parlayed fifth starting spot into a runner-up finish in today's Copper World Indy 200 at the hot and quick Phoenix International Raceway, arriving at the ...

Dixon Second, Manning Fifth For Panoz G Force

AVONDALE, AZ, March 21, 2004 Scott Dixon parlayed fifth starting spot into a runner-up finish in today's Copper World Indy 200 at the hot and quick Phoenix International Raceway, arriving at the checkered flags .5344 seconds behind victor Tony Kanaan. The 2003 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series champion's #1 Team Target Panoz G Force/Toyota was "very good on long stints" in the searing heat of 96 degrees ambient heat that saw 123-degree track temperatures on the mile oval.

"With the heat today and with the cars having less downforce, it's hard to get closer," the Kiwi admitted. "Around [Turns] 3 and 4 we had a better car and that's why we were really wanting to go green the whole way. I think we would have had a lot better chance to fight for the lead. Especially with traffic, it seemed like our car was a little better."

His new teammate Darren Manning finished fifth this afternoon in a #10 Team Target Panoz G Force/Toyota to mark a second straight finish in IndyCar Series competition (for fifth place in points). Manning was "pretty pleased. After a solid result at Homestead, I didn't want to make any silly mistakes. I had a really fast car in the second half of the race. On my own I was storming, really," the Briton remarked. "We had a great car all weekend."

Five of six Panoz G Force entrants completed the race in the top 12, with Buddy Rice ninth in the #15 Pioneer/Argent Mortgage Panoz G Force/Honda, Greg Ray tenth in his #13 Renovac Panoz G Force/Honda and rookie Kosuke Matsuura eleventh for the Super Aguri Fernandez Racing team in his #55 Panasonic/ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda.

"It was a pretty good day for us here in Phoenix," noted David Bowes, CEO of Elan Motorsports Technologies, maker of the Panoz G Force chassis, the sole American designed and built monocoque in the Indy Racing League. "The cars were well balanced in the high heat of the day and I think we showed our ability to produce a good-handling short oval car."

The IndyCar Series reconvenes April 18th in Japan for its second attack on the 1.5-mile oval at Twin Ring Motegi owned by Honda.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Greg Ray , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Buddy Rice