IRL: Motegi: Panoz G Force Friday report

Dixon leads the Panoz G-Force charge at IRL debut in Japan. Homestead winner Scott Dixon topped the speed charts in the opening day of pracitce for the Indy Japan 300 aboard his Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force - leading a strong day for...

Dixon leads the Panoz G-Force charge at IRL debut in Japan.

Homestead winner Scott Dixon topped the speed charts in the opening day of pracitce for the Indy Japan 300 aboard his Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force - leading a strong day for the American manufacturer.

A total of eight Panoz G Force GF09s hit the track including the first car run by Marllboro Team Penske with Alex Barron on board.

After today's opening practice sessions, Panoz G Force filled five of the top 11 spots on the speed chart.

Former IRL Champion Greg Ray made his 2003 debut aboard the first Honda-powered Panoz G Force while the AJ Foyt Enterprises drivers AJ Foyt IV and Shigeaki Hattori returned to the GF09 aboard their Toyota powered versions after running Dallaras recently.

"I think maybe previous experience helps a little," Dixon said.

"Today the car was pretty quick right out of the box. We made minimal changes throughout the morning, and then this afternoon we didn't do too much.

"Basically we just freed the car up, and I tried to get a little bit more speed out of it. I think in the afternoon session everyone was trying to get a tow because if it rains tomorrow, we want to be the fastest.”

The morning session was even more impressive for Panoz G Force with Dixon leading the times and four of the top times being recorded with a GF 09. Dixon recorded a fastest lap of 26.4535 seconds - a speed of 206.996mph

Felipe Giaffone was the second fastest Panoz G Force in 6th place on the day aboard his Mo Nunn Racing entry while Alex Barron's impressive Penske debut placed him 9th overall.

"Today was a very impressive start for us and we are hopeful our teams can continue this strong performance throughout the weekend," Panoz G Force Chief Designer, Simon Marshall said.

"We are very pleased to see such a strong representation for Panoz G Force out there. WIth eights cars it is our best entry for some time and indicates that our 2003 car is obviously very competitive."

-pgforce/pmg-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Felipe Giaffone , Shigeaki Hattori , Scott Dixon , Alex Barron , Chip Ganassi , Mo Nunn
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing