IRL: Watkins Glen: Honda Friday report

Castroneves Leads Practice at Watkins Glen After nearly a month dealing with the high speeds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar Series drivers and teams made the radical shift to coping with the demands of a traditional...

Castroneves Leads Practice at Watkins Glen

After nearly a month dealing with the high speeds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar Series drivers and teams made the radical shift to coping with the demands of a traditional road-racing circuit Friday at Watkins Glen International Raceway in upstate New York, where series points leader Helio Castroneves led the way in opening practice for Sunday's Watkins Glen Indy GP.

The winner earlier this season at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Castroneves edged Andretti Green Racing's Tony Kanaan in the second of two practice sessions. Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year -- and near race victor -- Marco Andretti was third fastest in the incident-free day. Scott Dixon, the winner here last year, was fourth overall, followed by his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, and defending series champion, Dan Wheldon.

Sunday's 60-lap Watkins Glen Grand Prix, the fifth round of the 14-race 2006 IndyCar season, starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.

Robert Clarke (President, Honda Performance Development) on the shift to road racing: "It is a dramatically different feeling for the drivers, teams, and engineers from HPD, coming here to Watkins Glen for a 'normal' three-day race meeting, following almost an entire month at Indianapolis. Our engines carry all the same specifications, but the demands placed on them are different, with constant acceleration and deceleration in place of the sustained high speeds of oval racing. It's a different set of challenges and takes a different mindset, which is one of the things that makes this series unique."

-honda-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Marco Andretti , Chip Ganassi , Robert Clark
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing