CHAMPCAR/CART: Motegi Vasser Preview

Among all FedEx Championship Series drivers, Jimmy Vasser of Target/Chip Ganassi Racing has the most experience on the new oval at Twin Ring Motegi. Vasser (Target Reynard Honda) was the first to take some demonstration laps on the...

Among all FedEx Championship Series drivers, Jimmy Vasser of Target/Chip Ganassi Racing has the most experience on the new oval at Twin Ring Motegi. Vasser (Target Reynard Honda) was the first to take some demonstration laps on the track during dedication ceremonies last July, and he was fastest of the 14 drivers who participated in a CART open test at Motegi last November. Vasser led the field with a quick lap of 215.180 miles per hour during that test, but wouldn't be surprised to see speeds climb substantially during practice and qualifying Thursday and Friday. "The speeds [at the open test] were even faster than I expected," said Vasser, the 1996 PPG Cup champion. "I'm really looking forward to returning to Motegi. I think we might be able to get up over 220 miles per hour. "The track is very smooth and wide, and the times will only get better. The fans will be the winners. It should be a great show." Though defending PPG Cup champion Alex Zanardi (Target Reynard Honda) did not participate in the open test at Motegi, his reputation was already well-known to Japanese racing fans. "When I visited Japan last year, someone gave me the nickname 'Ida Ten' meaning 'Faster than Lightning'," Zanardi said. "I hope that's what I'll be at Motegi – Alex 'Ida Ten' Zanardi. From what I've seen it looks like a great track and I can't wait to test it out." Target/Chip Ganassi Racing owner Chip Ganassi had high praise for the 1.549-mile Motegi oval. "The people involved with the Motegi project have set a new standard in how race facilities are constructed and operated," Ganassi said. "It's going to be a great experience. I'm glad to be a part of it." Source: CART Online

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Alex Zanardi , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing