IRL: Indy 500: Panoz G Force pre-qualifying report

Panoz G Force Troops Look Forward To MBNA Pole Day at Indianapolis INDIANAPOLIS, May 14, 2004 With thunderstorms washing out the final day of preparations for the 88th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, combatants had to rely of speeds from the...

Panoz G Force Troops Look Forward To MBNA Pole Day at Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, May 14, 2004 With thunderstorms washing out the final day of preparations for the 88th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, combatants had to rely of speeds from the previous five days of practice for the 200-lap enduro. MBNA Pole Day is expected to loom with partly sunny skies and ten-degree cooler temperatures than had been noted over the prior week, where drivers practiced under 80-degree temps.

Super Aguri Fernandez Racing rookie Kosuke Matsuura, driving the #55 Panasonic/ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda was the highest placed Panoz G Force driver after practice was completed in third, logging a lap of 221.857mph on May 11th. Matsuura drew the 58th and 61st spots for his qualifying attempts in primary and backup cars, respectively. "I think we found a lot of good things this week and we are ready to try for the front row tomorrow," he said.

Teammate Adrian Fernandez of Fernandez Racing put his #5 Quaker State/Telmex Panoz G Force/Honda fourth, also on May 11th at 221.705mph and will qualify 29th and 42nd. The Mexican veteran believes, "It has been a good week for us and a good experience so far. Our setup is good and I think are chances are very good to get the pole."

Scott Dixon, who drew the 40th and 51st qualifying attempts practiced eighth in the five sessions, setting a lap of 220.941 in his #1 Team Target Panoz G Force/Toyota on May 12th. Dixon thinks "aiming for a top five is realistic for us tomorrow." Buddy Rice held the ninth overall speed in combined practice and will qualify his primary and backup #15 Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Panoz G Force/Honda racers 53rd and 22nd, respectively. Vitor Meira, driving the #17 Team CENTRIX Panoz G Force/Honda practiced 10th best overall and will qualify 62nd tomorrow.

Elan Motorsports Technologies CEO David Bowes, realizing that Indianapolis qualifying and the 500-mile race are so different from any other race noted, "We are confident that we have a good race car at the Speedway. There are so many factors that decide the outcome, but we feel that our chassis competitive."

Chief designer Simon Marshall concurred: "We go into qualifying tomorrow in a very strong position and expect our cars to be congregating in the top 10. From the practice sessions we know that any of the Panoz G Force drivers is capable of pole position."

-pgf-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Scott Dixon , Buddy Rice , Kosuke Matsuura , Vitor Meira