IRL: Indy 500: Mo Nunn Racing day three practice report

Speeds creep upward for Takagi, Giaffone, Luyendyk On day 3 of practice for Indianapolis 500 INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, May 6, 2003) -- Mo Nunn Racing's driving trio of Tora Takagi, Felipe Giaffone and Arie Luyendyk upped their fastest practice laps...

Speeds creep upward for Takagi, Giaffone, Luyendyk
On day 3 of practice for Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, May 6, 2003) -- Mo Nunn Racing's driving trio of Tora Takagi, Felipe Giaffone and Arie Luyendyk upped their fastest practice laps for the third day in a row today in preparation for the May 25 Indianapolis 500.

Day 3 of practice for the 87th running of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" saw Takagi and his #12 Pioneer/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force fastest in the Mo Nunn camp once again. Faster than all competitors on Day 2 Tuesday, Takagi navigated the 2.5-mile four-cornered Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval today on a fast lap of 230.140 mph (39.1067 seconds). It was more than a full mile per hour faster that his top speed Tuesday, which led the entire field, and it was good for seventh on today's speed charts. Takagi completed 29 laps with his primary car as the Pioneer crew spent the better part of the seven-hour session incorporating changes to the car and also shaking down his back-up (12T) car. He reached 226.616 mph (39.7147 seconds) during a brief 11-lap run in the back-up car.

Giaffone and the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force also finished in the top 10 today with a lap of 229.287 mph (39.2521 seconds) that was good for 10th among the 37 cars that practiced today. Giaffone put in 93 laps of work in all today, a number bettered only by Billy Boat's 94 laps of practice.

Two-time Indy 500 winner Luyenkyk and the #20 Meijer/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force also spent a good bit of time in the garage making changes. By day's end, Luyendyk recorded 54 laps and reached a top speed of 228.205 mph (39.4383 seconds) on his 44th circuit.

Rookie Dan Wheldon was fastest today with a lap of 231.108 mph (38.9429 seconds), followed by Gil de Ferran at 230.873 mph (38.9824 seconds) and Tomas Scheckter at 230.823 mph (38.9909 seconds) in second and third, respectively. Scott Dixon (230.476/39.0496), Michael Andretti (230.416/39.0598) and Kenny Brack (230.288/39.0815) rounded out the top six just ahead of Takagi.

Practice resumes Wednesday with Pole Day qualifying set for Saturday.

TORA TAKAGI

"Today we had good times.  I'm happy.  Just happy.  Our performance was
quite good.  The track gets better every day."

FELIPE GIAFFONE

"Today was a pretty good day. We spent 90 percent of the day in race setup, and I was really happy with the way the car was handling. We should be in good shape. Tomorrow, we're going to try to run the 'T' car a little bit. Everything is coming together pretty well. We tried different setups that didn't quite work yesterday. Today, we started with something similar but not quite the same as what Tora had yesterday, and it helped. We picked up a little bit right away. We didn't spend a lot of time in qualifying trim. We just did race stuff, and we're pretty happy."

ARIE LUYENDYK

"We are a little bit disappointed. I'm kind of scratching my head as to why we're a little bit slower than my teammates. I really couldn't tell you why. A little bit of a push here but not a lot. The car's handling is good. I just have to get the speed. We're all basically the same. I'm about 2 miles an hour slower. If you look at the stopwatch, it doesn't take much to get an additional 2 miles an hour if you make a good change. We just have to make the good change. I know we will get it. It's just not coming as quickly as I would like. The good thing is, we have time."

-mnr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Felipe Giaffone , Arie Luyendyk , Billy Boat , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Scott Dixon , Tora Takagi , Kenny Brack , Dan Wheldon , Mo Nunn