IRL: Watkins Glen: Honda Friday notes

Castroneves Heads Practice at Watkins Glen Team Penske's Helio Castroneves posted his fastest lap in the final moments of practice Friday at Watkins Glen International raceway to lead IndyCar Series practice in preparation for...

Castroneves Heads Practice at Watkins Glen

Team Penske's Helio Castroneves posted his fastest lap in the final moments of practice Friday at Watkins Glen International raceway to lead IndyCar Series practice in preparation for Sunday's Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix. Castroneves edged out defending two-time 'Glen winner Scott Dixon, who is seeking a "three-peat" of victories at the 3.77-mile road course, located in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

A trio of Indy 500 champions claimed the next three positions. Buddy Rice (2004 Indy winner) paced the opening practice, and ran third fastest on the day, followed by this year's Indy champion and series points leader Dario Franchitti. Defending series champion and 2006 Indy winner Sam Hornish, Jr. was fifth quickest.

One of five drivers in the top ten to improve in the second practice session, Tony Kanaan was sixth fastest, with Dan Wheldon seventh. Kosuke Matsuura was another to move up in the final moments of practice, slotting in eighth and just ahead of his Panther Racing teammate, Vitor Meira. Marco Andretti rounded out the top 10.

Activities continue tomorrow with final practice and qualifying at the historic road course, former site of the U.S. Grand Prix in the 1960s and '70s. Sunday's 60-lap race, the second of five road races in 2007, starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.

Helio Castroneves (#3 Team Penske Honda) fastest in Friday practice: "The track is definitely faster this year. They've repaved Turn One, Turn Six and the carousel and there's smooth asphalt down now where before we had concrete patches. It's amazing how much grip you have now, and it's made the track very physical to drive. It was an exciting end to the session, with everyone putting on new tires and going for a quick lap time. And it was great for us to end up first!"

-credit: honda racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Marco Andretti
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske