Dixon leads five top-ten Panoz G Force drivers in Milwaukee practice West Allis, WI, 23 July 2004 - The Indy Racing League's premier IndyCar Series is making its first visit to The Milwaukee Mile this weekend for the Menards A.J. Foyt...
Dixon leads five top-ten Panoz G Force drivers in Milwaukee practice
West Allis, WI, 23 July 2004 - The Indy Racing League's premier IndyCar Series is making its first visit to The Milwaukee Mile this weekend for the Menards A.J. Foyt 225, marking the start of the second half of the 2004 IRL season on the oldest American oval circuit in continuous use (since 1903).
Scott Dixon, the 2003 IndyCar Series champion was quickest in the first practice session with a fast (12th of 24) lap of 165.799mph in his #1 Team Target Panoz G Force/Toyota, good enough to take second overall for this day of dual practice sessions. Dixon was "flat this morning and I think we'll be flat again tomorrow. There are some bumps," the Kiwi remarked, "and I think in the race things will go off, the tires and the car, which will create a lot more passing. We're a lot closer this weekend than in testing and this is one of the few tracks where we don't have to rely on horsepower so much."
The Rahal Letterman Racing duo of Vitor Meira (#17 Team Centrix Panoz G Force/Honda) and Buddy Rice in the #15 Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Panoz G Force/Honda were third and fourth respectively for the day. Meira's 21st lap (of 58) at 165.270mph came as he "worked on qualifying runs this morning and then moved into the race setup this afternoon. This is my first time in official practice here but the team has been here many times and won here (with Kenny Brack in 2001 and Michel Jourdain Jr. in 2003 Champ Car events). This is a great track and we know what we have to do and what we're working for," which would be the Brazilian's first win. Rice thought "the car felt good" on his second set of tires "and I think we look pretty good for both qualifying and race trim now. Every time we run on the short ovals we are getting better and better," the 2004 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner declared.
Adrian Fernandez took sixth in the #5 Quaker State/Telmex Panoz G Force/Honda and noted, "The car had good balance this morning and we made the right changes this afternoon" to gain his lap of 164.820mph. Darren Manning earned seventh in the #10 Team Target Panoz G Force/Toyota. "It started off well for us this morning; we started on stickers and only used that one set of tires all day, concentrating on race setup more in the second session and improving the car," the Briton said.
"We did some wind tunnel testing this week and found a few aero details," stated Panoz G Force chief designer Simon Marshall. "These items should aid downforce and driveability for our teams." Qualifying for the Menards A.J. Foyt 225 at The Milwaukee Mile takes place Saturday afternoon between 1-2:15PM CDT.