Takagi fastest again, Giaffone third again, Barron fastest among non-qualified drivers at Indy. INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, May 15, 2003) -- Mo Nunn Racing's Tora Takagi was fastest in practice for the second day in a row, teammate Felipe Giaffone...
Takagi fastest again, Giaffone third again, Barron fastest among non-qualified drivers at Indy.
INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, May 15, 2003) -- Mo Nunn Racing's Tora Takagi was fastest in practice for the second day in a row, teammate Felipe Giaffone was third-fastest for the second day in a row, and their brand new teammate Alex Barron was fastest today among drivers who have yet to qualify for the 87th Indianapolis 500.
Takagi and his #12 Pioneer/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force turned a fast lap of 229.157 mph (39.2744 seconds) during his 75 laps of work around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway four-cornered oval today. It was the third time this month he has been fastest for the day, the first being Day 2 of practice (Monday, May 5). He is expected back at the track for limited duty on Friday before the team goes back to the race shop to rebuild his cars for Thursday's Carburetion Day of final practice.
Giaffone and the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force reached 228.255 mph (39.4295 seconds) on his best lap of the day. He drove a total of 44 laps in all. The Hollywood crew is done for the weekend and will next take to the track on Carb Day.
Barron, subbing for the injured Arie Luyendyk, got into the #20 Meijer/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force for the first time today and made short work of getting the car up to 226.230 mph (39.7826 seconds). He put in a total of 39 laps today and will practice Friday and Saturday before attempting to qualify the car during the traditional Bump Day of final qualifying on Sunday. Luyendyk announced Wednesday he would not drive the car while suffering lingering effects of a practice crash last Friday.
"Our race setup is very good. I got a chance to work with the car in traffic and there were no big problems. I think we will come out and do one more long run tomorrow and then that will be the end of our preparation at the track this week. The Pioneer team did a fantastic job all month long. I wish we could just keep driving until race day because I love this place so much. I will just save all of that enthusiasm and energy for the final practice and for race day."
"We had a pretty good day once again. Actually, we are very happy with our last two days. My engineers and my team worked some magic since the weekend the car is to the point where it is very comfortable. We were able to try a number of things today and the car responded very well. If the conditions on race day are anything like they are today, I think we're going to have a good day. But you never know, so you have to be ready for anything. We're done for the week, so the guys are going to take the Hollywood cars back to the race shop and get us ready for Carb Day. All in all, we're in great shape, I think."
"Overall, it went fairly well. We got up to speed pretty quickly. That should come as no big surprise since the Meijer crew has been working on the car with Arie all month, and I'm coming off a run with Team Penske driving the same Toyota and Panoz G Force package. It's now a matter of team chemistry that's going to allow us to have a great race car, as well as a car that will make the show on Sunday. We're a little behind the eight-ball because while we do have to decide how fast we want to go in qualifying trim, we also have very little time to work on race setup. After Sunday, the only chance we have is Carb Day. Fortunately, this is a solid team and I came here ready to go."