IRL: Homestead: Panoz G Force race report

Panoz G Force takes opening win of 2003 with Scott Dixon. American chassis manufacturer Panoz G Force has kicked off it's 2003 assault on the IRL IndyCar Championship in fine style with Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon winning the...

Panoz G Force takes opening win of 2003 with Scott Dixon.

American chassis manufacturer Panoz G Force has kicked off it's 2003 assault on the IRL IndyCar Championship in fine style with Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon winning the opening round of the series at Homestead-Miami Speedway today.

The win by Dixon extends the run of success for the Georgia-based company which has tasted victory in every year of IRL competition.

After starting from position twelve, Dixon moved through the field and swift work by the Ganassi crew elevated him from second to first at the final round of pit stops on lap 148.

"We sat back early and the other cars seemed to deteriorate a lot more than us and we were able to pick up a few spots," Dixon said.

"The car got better and better as the race progressed. It was really excellent on new tires with just a little bit of understeer.

"The last pit stop was really the key to the race but the guys got me out ahead of Gil and the Panoz G Force was strong enough to hold him off and come away with a victory."

The win by Dixon was the first victory by an Indy Racing League rookie since Juan Montoya took the 2000 Indy 500 - also with Target Chip Ganassi Racing and a Panoz G Force chassis.

"Those guys at the Panoz G Force factory, the guys oversees and Dr Panoz himself support us 100 percent and we support them in turn because partnerships are what Target Chip Ganassi Racing is all about," Team Managing Director, Mike Hull said.

"We have 15 races to go and those guys are humpin' really hard to give us a good product for all the tracks throughout the season."

The Panoz G Force chassis took four of the top 12 spots with Tomas Scheckter (8th), Felipe Giaffone (9th) and Tora Takagi taking 12th.

Shigeaki Hattori was delayed after early contact to finish 19 laps down in 18th position.

"This is an outstanding win for us, because this was not the type of track where we expected a result like this," Panoz G Force, President, Tony Mastandrea said.

"It is a real credit to everybody on the design staff and the factory guys who actually built these cars.

"Our aim is to win the championship and the Indy 500 - this is a great start to the year."

-pgf-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Shigeaki Hattori , Scott Dixon , Tora Takagi , Chip Ganassi , Mike Hull
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing