IRL: Motegi: Honda Friday report

Kanaan, Brack head Hondas at Motegi. Tony Kanaan and Kenny Brack again led the Honda field in practice sessions for Sunday's Indy Japan 300 at the Honda-owned Twin Ring Motegi Circuit north of Tokyo. This year's event marks the inaugural IRL ...

Kanaan, Brack head Hondas at Motegi.

Tony Kanaan and Kenny Brack again led the Honda field in practice sessions for Sunday's Indy Japan 300 at the Honda-owned Twin Ring Motegi Circuit north of Tokyo. This year's event marks the inaugural IRL IndyCar Series event at Motegi, following five years as a venue in the CART Champ Car series.

Just seven-hundredths of a second off Scott Dixon's best time, Kanaan is seeking his third pole in as many events this season. The 28-year-old Brazilian also started from the front at the season-opening race in Homestead, Florida and at last month's round in Phoenix.

Driving for Team Rahal, Brack was third, just over a tenth of a second behind Kanaan, with Michael Andretti rounding out the top in his Andretti Green Racing entry. With Dario Franchitti sidelined by a back injury following a motorcycle accident last week, Dan Wheldon made his first race-weekend appearance for Andretti Green today, finishing 12th overall.

Two other Honda-powered drivers also made their first appearances of the 2003 season, with Greg Ray finishing 20th on the day, just ahead of Shinji Nakano.

With an increasing chance of rain forecast for Saturday, most of the 24 drivers and teams making the trek to Japan attempted to post the best possible speeds in the afternoon practice session. Series officials will set the starting grid according to practice times if rain precludes qualifying.

Tony Kanaan (#11 7-Eleven Andretti Green Racing Honda) Phoenix race winner, second quickest today: "Like everybody else, we tried to be at the front all the time today, because we expect rain tomorrow. But the car was quite quick right out of the box, so we worked on our race setup in the morning, then concentrated on speed in the afternoon. We will get together tonight and see what we can do to make all three cars faster still."

-honda-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Michael Andretti , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Kenny Brack , Dan Wheldon