Giaffone qualifies third, Takagi 11th, for Delphi Indy 300 JOLIET, Ill. (Saturday, Sept. 6, 2003) -- Felipe Giaffone will make his first IRL IndyCar Series start since July 6 from the inside of the second row while Mo Nunn Racing teammate Tora...
Giaffone qualifies third, Takagi 11th, for Delphi Indy 300
JOLIET, Ill. (Saturday, Sept. 6, 2003) -- Felipe Giaffone will make his first IRL IndyCar Series start since July 6 from the inside of the second row while Mo Nunn Racing teammate Tora Takagi qualified for the inside-sixth-row starting position for Sunday's Delphi Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Giaffone, who is back behind the wheel of his #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powerd Panoz G Force this weekend after breaking his right femur and pelvis in a racing accident at Kansas Speedway the first weekend in July, clocked a fast qualifying lap of 24.5771 seconds (222.646 mph) on the 1.5-mile tri-oval here today. The lap put Giaffone alongside then fast-qualifier Tomas Scheckter on the front row. But Richie Hearn, subbing for injured Team Menard driver Vitor Meira, bumped both Scheckter and Giaffone down one spot with a pole-winning qualifying lap at the end of the session. Hearn's best lap was a 24.5206-second (223.159-mph) effort. Scheckter's best lap was 24.5290 seconds (223.083 mph). Kenny Brack will start outside Giaffone on the second row after a lap of 24.6444 seconds (222.038 seconds).
Takagi and the #12 Pioneer/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force circled the track in 24.7852 seconds (220.777 mph) during his qualifying run to take the 11th spot on the grid.
Final practice is set for 9 a.m. local time (10 a.m. EDT) Sunday with the green flag set to drop for the 200-lap Delphi Indy 300 at 1 p.m. local time (2 p.m. EDT). ABC-TV will carry the race live. ESPN2's 30-minute pre-race "IndyRacing2Day" show airs live at noon EDT.
"I think the Hollywood team did a fantastic job giving me a fast car all weekend. Ever since I stepped back into the car after my injury it's been very fast. I feel absolutely fine when I'm in the car. Tomorrow will be another test because, even though we did several long runs when we tested here for two days last week, it will be my first race in two months. But I'm in great shape, and I'm totally confident everything will hold up. Of course, everything is easier when you have a great car, and I'm just thankful that it hasn't been a struggle for us this weekend. I can't wait for the green flag to fall."
"It has been a little bit frustrating finding just the right combination for the Pioneer car that would give us the speed to qualify up front. I am certain we have the right formula for race day. I was just hoping we could qualify better. But we did our best today and I think we will run a smart race on Sunday and hopefully we will be fighting for a top finish at the end."