IRL: Texas II: G Force race report

Panoz G Force set sights on 2003 Indy Racing season. The newly renamed Panoz G Force Indy Racing League chassis manufacturer has set its sights on the 2003 IRL championship after a tough finish to the 2002 season at Texas Motor Speedway ...

Panoz G Force set sights on 2003 Indy Racing season.

The newly renamed Panoz G Force Indy Racing League chassis manufacturer has set its sights on the 2003 IRL championship after a tough finish to the 2002 season at Texas Motor Speedway today.

Engine failure with only 16 laps remaining robbed Felipe Giaffone from possibly grabbing 3rd place in the 2002 title race.

Giaffone was running strongly in the leading pack prior to the final pit-stop but a delay in the pits, followed by the engine failure put the Mo Nunn Racing driver out of the event.

The Brazilian had the opportunity to clinch third in the title chase with fellow Brazilian Gil de Feran absent for the final race of the year following a crash last week at Chicago.

"It wasn't a very good day for us," Giaffone said.

"We had a problem at the final pit stop, then we lost the engine. Unfortunately, we had two engine failures this year and it hurt us quite a lot."

Sarah Fisher finished the day as the top G Force runner in 11th place in a race of attrition for the American-owned chassis manufacturer.

Robbie Buhl and George Mack suffered engine failures, Will Langhorne had clutch problems, while last-start Texas winner Jeff Ward and Hideki Noda were involved in an accident together on lap 89 putting both cars in the wall.

"I thought for sure he'd let me have some room, but he didn't. It's unfortunate because we had a good car," Ward said.

G Force yesterday launched its 2003 assault on the IRL championship - unveiling the design of its new car, introducing its new design team and announcing the name change for '02 to Panoz G Force.

With the revamped manufacturer doubling its technical staff and wind tunnel program for 2003, new G Force Chief Designer Simon Marshall is eagerly awaiting the start of the next year's championship.

"G Force had an outstanding car for Indy this year but our team including myself, Ben (Bowlby), Nigel (Bennett) and Tony (Tyler) are working hard on ensuring the new Panoz G Force is a great car for every track in the IRL championship," Marshall said.

"We are very far advanced with the design for next year's car but this weekend we have had the chance to talk to a lot of our teams - both existing teams and new teams - about performance gains which we are going to concentrate on."

Today's race was won by Sam Hornish Jr by only .0096 of a second over championship rival, Helio Castroneves - clinching the title for Hornish for the second consecutive year.

-g force-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Felipe Giaffone , Robbie Buhl , Jeff Ward , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , George Mack , Hideki Noda , Will Langhorne , Mo Nunn , Sam Hornis