Giaffone, Takagi open practice for Toyota Indy 300 HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Friday, Feb. 28, 2003) -- Mo Nunn Racing teammates Felipe Giaffone and Tora Takagi opened practice today for Sunday's IRL IndyCar Series season-opening Toyota Indy 300 on the ...
Giaffone, Takagi open practice for Toyota Indy 300
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Friday, Feb. 28, 2003) -- Mo Nunn Racing teammates Felipe Giaffone and Tora Takagi opened practice today for Sunday's IRL IndyCar Series season-opening Toyota Indy 300 on the Homestead Miami Speedway 1.5-mile oval.
Both drivers took part in today's morning and afternoon sessions behind the wheel of brand new Panoz G Force chassis and several new aerodynamic pieces that arrived just in time for practice this weekend.
Giaffone and the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force wrapped up this afternoon's session 11th on the timesheet with a lap of 27.7337 seconds (194.709 mph). Giaffone, last year's fourth-place finisher in the final season point standings, opened the day with the 14th-fastest time of the morning session at 27.7360 seconds (194.693 mph).
Takagi and the #12 Pioneer/Mo Nunn Racing team car was 14th in the afternoon session today at 27.8931 seconds (193.596 mph) after his 28.3603-second (190.407-mph) lap in the morning session, which was 18th-fastest for the session.
Practice resumes Saturday morning with single-car qualifying set for 1:15 p.m. EST. Race time Sunday is 1 p.m. EST with a live broadcast set for ABC-TV.
"To be honest, we're struggling here at this track. For some reason, we're having a difficult time generating the kind of downforce we need to get around here quickly. But we're definitely not giving up the fight. We will work very, very hard tonight and try to improve the car for tomorrow. I'm not sure we can expect to be at the front of the grid after qualifying, so we're definitely focusing most of our energy on making sure we have a good race car for Sunday. That, I hope, will be the case. I'm confident in the Hollywood/Mo Nunn team as we start our second year together."
"We expected to do better today, but we are not totally surprised that we haven't done very much better today. We tested here last week, but the track is totally different than it was when we were here last week. It is much hotter and much more humid, and the conditions are nothing like they were when we were here. We also got new pieces for the race car to try and help us with downforce. But many of those pieces didn't arrive until we got here to the track. So we never had a chance to test them. Today, you might say, was our test day for the new pieces we got for the car. In that sense, I guess the results shouldn't be too surprising. I think we will be able to have success improving the car by tomorrow."