Yasukawa among top three in opening day of practice. Roger Yasukawa posted the third quickest time of the day in practice for the Toyota Indy 300, the opening round of the 2003 IRL IndyCar Series. Yasukawa, making his first "official" appearance...
Yasukawa among top three in opening day of practice.
Roger Yasukawa posted the third quickest time of the day in practice for the Toyota Indy 300, the opening round of the 2003 IRL IndyCar Series. Yasukawa, making his first "official" appearance in the Indy Racing League field, completed 72 trouble-free laps on the 1.5-mile oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The top-three fastest times were posted during the morning sessions.
Top Combined Practice Times:
1. Scott Sharp Dallara/Toyota/Firestone 26.4535 204.132 mph
2. Helio Castroneves Dallara/Toyota/Firestone 26.7371 201.967 mph
3. Roger Yasukawa Dallara/Honda/Firestone 26.8758 200.924 mph
Roger Yasukawa , Driver - #55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"It was very good day. We were able to get a lot of work done, and we are still fine-tuning things for tomorrow and the race. The track conditions were a lot different from when we were here [testing] last week. The track temperature and humidity is much higher and the wind is blowing a little harder than it was. Between the car setup and my driving style, there are some things we need to change and I need to change but we are headed in the right direction. For the race setup, my main concern is to run consistently, and hopefully I will get to do some things in practice tomorrow that will make us well prepared for qualifying. I think the expectation is going to be high now that I was in the top three today, and I will certainly do my best to stay up there."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his first career IRL IndyCar Series start-- began his career at the age of 12 in karts, competing in both the U.S. and Italy before moving up the racing ladder through Formula Vauxhall Junior and Formula Palmer Audi in England, and Formula Dodge competition in the United States-- entered the Barber Dodge Pro Series at the age of 21, earning Co-Rookie of the Year honors-- competed in the Atlantic series last year, claiming a win at Milwaukee and two additional podium finishes in a partial season of competition-- resides in West Hollywood, California.
Tom Anderson , Managing Director:
"We really couldn't have asked for a better day. It was a good learning curve for us with the changing track and weather conditions. The change in the wind direction and the additional heat this afternoon made it more like what we think we will see on race day. We were focused on our race strategy today, and I'm sure everyone else was as well. Teams won't start to work on qualifying until tomorrow. If the weather conditions for qualifying are similar to today, then I think last year's pole time [Sam Hornish Jr. - 202.884 mph] may stay as a record.
"John [Dick, race engineer] was working with Roger to try to make the car as easy as he could on the Firestone tires because tire life will be critical in having a consistent run throughout the fuel segments during the race. Obviously it is going to be a very competitive race, and Roger is doing an extremely good job. The crew is working well, and we are up to speed and have two cars here ready to go should we need them. Things are looking very positive."
NEXT UP: Qualifying for Sunday's Toyota Indy 300 will begin at 1:15 pm EST tomorrow.
For additional information on Super Aguri Fernandez Racing, visit www.superagurifernandezracing.net. Additional information on the IRL IndyCar Series can be found at www.indyracing.com.