IRL: Motegi: Honda Thursday report

Kanaan Continues to Pace IRL Field Series points leader and Phoenix race winner Tony Kanaan continues to be the man of the moment in the Indy Racing League, as the Brazilian and his Andretti Green Racing teammate Dario Franchitti led the field...

Kanaan Continues to Pace IRL Field

Series points leader and Phoenix race winner Tony Kanaan continues to be the man of the moment in the Indy Racing League, as the Brazilian and his Andretti Green Racing teammate Dario Franchitti led the field Thursday in practice for Saturday's Bridgestone Indy Japan.

After the Andretti Green duo, a trio of Team Rahal drivers gave Honda five of the fastest seven speeds at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit, which was built by Honda in 1997. Buddy Rice ran fifth on the day, leading team newcomer Vitor Meira and the returning Roger Yasukawa, who will drive for Rahal here and at the Indianapolis 500 next month.

Bryan Herta ran 12th today in the third Andretti Green Racing Honda, one spot ahead of IndyCar rookie Kosuke Matsuura for Super Aguri Fernandez Racing and team owner-driver Adrian Fernandez, who will start his second IndyCar race this weekend, in 15th. Greg Ray and Dan Wheldon battled mechanical problems to end the day 17th and 18th, respectively.

Single-car qualifying takes place Friday at Twin Ring Motegi, with the 300-mile race to be broadcast live in the United States on ESPN 2 Friday, April 16, at 11:30 p.m. EDT.

Tony Kanaan (#11 7-Eleven Andretti Green Racing Honda) fastest in practice: "It was a difficult day, but a good result for us. For some reason, the circuit was very dusty this morning, and windy as well, which didn't help at all. It took a long time for enough rubber to be laid down to raise the level of grip. But running four cars is a big advantage for our team. It gives us a lot of information at every practice and we learned a lot in the first session that we were able to apply in the afternoon. My teammate Dario [Franchitti] and I have led a lot of laps here over the years, but for a lot of different reasons we haven't won yet. Hopefully, that will change on Saturday!"

-honda-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Adrian Fernandez , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Roger Yasukawa , Buddy Rice , Kosuke Matsuura , Vitor Meira