Tough Test for Target at Pikes Peak Pikes Peak, Colorado, Sunday August 21, 2005 -- Target Chip Ganassi Racing was looking for a "peak" performance as Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe's Target Toyotas shared the seventh row on the starting grid for...
Tough Test for Target at Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak, Colorado, Sunday August 21, 2005 -- Target Chip Ganassi Racing was looking for a "peak" performance as Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe's Target Toyotas shared the seventh row on the starting grid for Sunday's Honda Indy 225 at the one mile tri-oval at Pikes Peak International Raceway but by the first round of pit stops the team saw their hopes of a top finish disappear into thin air.
Ryan Briscoe was in 13th place when on lap 79, following his pit stop, the no.33 Target Toyota made contact with the wall between turn three and four cutting his race decidedly short.
"It's difficult to say what happened really," said Briscoe who was unhurt in the incident. "I had just had a pit stop for fuel and fresh tires and everything felt fine. Then all of a sudden, I had a moment in turn two and caught it but it felt like I lost tire pressure or something. I went into turn three a little slower just to be sure and then just had the rear go out on me and that was it."
It was a tough start for Dixon who battled a loose car from the start and fell back slowly going down a lap in the first stint. After a few adjustments during his pit stop, things improved but only slightly.
"From the start the no.9 Target Toyota was really loose in turn one and two," said Dixon. "I was losing a lot of time there and without any yellows in that first run we never got a chance to come in to make any changes to help with the handling so I stuck it out until the first pit stop. The first yellow helped us get a lap back but then I struggled with rear grip. Our last stop we put on new tires and the car was fairly decent but we needed that kind of balance at the start because by then it was too late and we were down too many laps to make up. We were quick enough at the end that we likely would have finished in the top ten. We just need to forget this and move on. The Target team is really looking forward to hitting the road course at Sonoma next weekend."
Newcomer to the Target team, Jaques Lazier did not start the race after making contact with the turn four wall while running qualifying simulations during the second Saturday practice of the day and sustained heavy damage to the rear of the no.10 Target Toyota. Efforts made to repair the damage were unsuccessful and the team did not qualify the car.
Series leader in the standings, Dan Wheldon notched another win as he beat Sam Hornish Jr. and teammate Tony Kanaan to the finish line for his fifth win of 2005, tying the single season record for victories.
Target Chip Ganassi Racing hope to turn their luck around as they now continues their west bound trek to Sonoma, California, to take on the road course at Infineon Raceway for the Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix on August 28th race, the second of three road races of the 2005 season. For this race, the Target Team will welcome the new addition of Italian driver Giorgio Pantano, a road course specialist, to take over the helm of the no.10 Target Toyota Panoz.