IRL: Hornish completes 120-lap test at Twin Ring Motegi

MOTEGI, Japan, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2002 -- Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. completed 120 laps Nov. 7 at Twin Ring Motegi during the first of three days of IRL testing at the 1.5-mile oval in Japan. Hornish recorded a fast lap of 26.973...

MOTEGI, Japan, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2002 -- Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. completed 120 laps Nov. 7 at Twin Ring Motegi during the first of three days of IRL testing at the 1.5-mile oval in Japan.

Hornish recorded a fast lap of 26.973 seconds in weather conditions ranging from sunny and warm to overcast and cool.

The test marked the first time an Indy Racing car had turned laps at the Twin Ring Motegi track. More than 130 members of the Japanese media attended the test, the first of many events promoting the inaugural Indy Racing event in Japan scheduled for April 13, 2003.

Hornish was impressed with the unique facility, which is carved into the mountains in the Tochigi region of Japan approximately 145 miles northwest of Tokyo.

"I think the track is very, very nice," Hornish said. "It's wide, and it's fast. It's going to lend itself to some very competitive racing. As far as qualifying setup, we're probably looking at speeds of around 210 mph, maybe higher depending on the weather.

"Any track that isn't easy flat-out, I like. The more difficult the track is, the better I like it. So this track is one I think I'll really like this year."

Pennzoil Panther Racing co-owner John Barnes was equally impressed with the state-of-the-art oval.

"This facility that Honda built is fabulous," Barnes said. "Anything that they're involved with, they do to win, the same as we do."

In addition to Hornish's No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, the Indy Racing Experience car was on site to give media members rides around the track. IRL driver Hideki Noda drove the two-seat Indy Racing car.

Indy Racing fan favorite Sarah Fisher will replace Noda in the two-seater Nov. 8-9.

-irl-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Hideki Noda , John Barnes
Teams Panther Racing