IRL: Indy 500: Panoz G Force Bump day report

Panoz G Force Set to Rule at 88th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race Indianapolis, May 23, 2004 The field has been set for the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and eleven Panoz G Force drivers one third of the field are poised to make...

Panoz G Force Set to Rule at 88th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race

Indianapolis, May 23, 2004 The field has been set for the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and eleven Panoz G Force drivers one third of the field are poised to make their marks next Sunday, May 30th in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

In addition to taking MBNA pole position with the cool-headed Arizonan Buddy Rice in the #15 Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Panoz G Force/Honda (222.024mph), Panoz G Force helped seven other drivers qualify in the top 15 slots of the traditional 33-car field last Saturday.

Bruno Junqueira starts fourth in the #36 PacifiCare Panoz G Force/Honda; Adrian Fernandez lines up sixth in the #5 Quaker State/Telmex Panoz G Force/Honda; Vitor Meira's #17 Team CENTRIX Panoz G Force/Honda holds seventh place on the grid; fastest rookie Kosuke Matsuura starts ninth in the #55 Panasonic/ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda; Team Target Panoz G Force/Toyota teammates Scott Dixon (#1) and Darren Manning (#10) start 13th and 15th respectively. On the same day Larry Foyt placed his A.J. Foyt Racing #41 Panoz G Force/Toyota 22nd on the grid.

The drama of today's Bump Day played into the hands Panoz G Force drivers who secured optimal spots on the grid. Greg Ray, who turned no laps on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval until this afternoon was fastest of the final day qualifiers. The owner/driver who introduced the Panoz G Force/Honda package to the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series grids was quickest in final day qualifying with a four-lap average of 216.641mph. Dealing with off-track situations until today Ray decided to "unleash this thing, peel the downforce off it and go for it." He starts 27th.

Richie Hearn unleashed a Panoz G Force/Toyota contender leased by Sam Schmidt Motorsports from the Team Penske stables and took the safe route with a combined four-lap average of 213.715mph, good for 30th. Hearn immediately felt comfortable with the package, which he utilized in 2003 at the same race and under the same last-minute conditions. The Nevadan declared, "I don't require a lot and Indy is more like a fast road course. I love driving this track and this car works great. They [Team Penske] just did leak tests and it hardly needed a thing to get safely in the field. We started from scratch, but think we can do fine."

Final practice for the 88th Indy 500 is this Thursday, May 27th. The race begins at noon on May 30th.

-pgf-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Greg Ray , Bruno Junqueira , Adrian Fernandez , Scott Dixon , Richie Hearn , Larry Foyt , Kosuke Matsuura , A.J. Foyt , Vitor Meira
Teams Team Penske