IRL: Motegi: Kelley Racing Friday report

MOTEGI, Japan (April 11, 2003)--- Kelley Racing began their first overseas event with both cars positioned in the top five at the end of their first practice day for the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300. Al Unser Jr., driver of the No. 31 Corteco...

MOTEGI, Japan (April 11, 2003)--- Kelley Racing began their first overseas event with both cars positioned in the top five at the end of their first practice day for the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300. Al Unser Jr., driver of the No. 31 Corteco entry, finished the day fourth overall with a time of 26.6759 seconds/205.129 mph and his teammate Scott Sharp, driver of the No.8 Delphi entry, finished the day fifth overall with a time of 26.6803 seconds/205.095 mph. Unser Jr. ran 97 total laps and Sharp ran 101 total laps on the 1.5 --mile oval at Twin Ring Motegi. Both Kelley Racing driver's expressed that they liked the track and were very pleased by the good cars that the Corteco and Delphi crews had prepared after rolling off the freight planes on Monday.

Scott Dixon set today's quick time with a time of 26.4353 seconds/ 206.996 mph, while Tony Kanaan was second fastest at 26. 5008 seconds/206.484 mph and Kenny Brack rounded out the top three at 26.6185 seconds/205.571 mph.

Practice for the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 will resume tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. with qualifying set to begin at 1:00 p.m. Sunday's Bridgestone Japan Indy 300 is scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. green flag and will be televised tape delayed on ABC on Sunday, April 13 at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Al Unser Jr. -- #31 Corteco/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone

"Everything went great today. The things we're doing with the Corteco car have really been working and the changes we've been making have been making the car better and better. The Corteco crew is doing a great job and now we just need to keep the momentum going. It's really great to be back in Japan. The racetrack is much the same as I remember it from 1998. If there's any difference, it's smoother than it was when it was brand new. This race is going to be great, the cars will be running much closer together than the CART cars ran here in the past so I think it will be a very exciting race on Sunday."

Combined Practice Session Results
Position: 4th
Speed: 205.129 mph
Time: 26.6759 seconds
Laps: 97

Scott Sharp -- #8 Delphi/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone

"I really like Twin Ring Motegi. It's a great track. I'm really excited to be here and this track is just a great blend. Turn one and turn two are like some of the higher banked ovals and I think we'll be wide open through there, running side by side. Whereas in turns three and four, you are off the gas a little bit and have to really hustle the car through there and really work on mechanical grip. It's a really nice blend. The Delphi guys have given me a really good car right out of the box. We're so used to being able to test a track before we race there and we don't have that luxury for this circuit. But I must say we rolled off the plane pretty good for this race."

Combined Practice Session Results
Position: 5th
Speed: 205.095 mph
Time: 26.6803 seconds
Laps: 101

-www.kelleyracing.com-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Scott Sharp , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Kenny Brack , Al Unser Sr.