IRL: Motegi: Panoz G Force Saturday report

Panoz G Force fills three out of top four grid spots as rain falls in Japan. Rain may have washed out qualifying for this weekend's Indy Japan 300, but the impressive practice speeds of the Panoz G Force equipped teams resulted in three of the...

Panoz G Force fills three out of top four grid spots as rain falls in Japan.

Rain may have washed out qualifying for this weekend's Indy Japan 300, but the impressive practice speeds of the Panoz G Force equipped teams resulted in three of the top four spots being filled by the American manufacturer.

Scott Dixon will start from pole tomorrow after his practice time from yesterday of 206.996mph was the fastest speed of the weekend.

Local hero Tora Takagi (Mo Nunn Racing) and Dixon's Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate, Tomas Scheckter used Saturday's final practice session to improve their speed to push them to 3rd (206.747mph) and 4th (206.350mph) on the grid respectively.

"I think we are in a great starting position. I am a little disappointed that we didn't get a chance to try for the pole because my engineer (David Cripps) had one more change to the car that he thought might make it possible," Takagi said.

"But we must be satisfied with where we are, after all. It is our best starting position so far, and it is great because this is in front of my family and friends and all of my Japanese fans."

Takagi's team-mate Felipe Giaffone will start from position nine on the grid tomorrow, while Alex Baron's fastest practice time aboard the first Pesnke-run Panoz G Force placed him 12th on the grid.

Dixon remains confident of repeating his Homestead win in the IRL IndyCar Series' first overseas race.

"Obviously, we would have much rather ran to earn the pole, but I'm not going to complain starting on the front," Dixon said.

"I don't know that being on the front row will be that big of an advantage in the race because I think you find a lot of drafting and passing. Starting position may not be that important.

"This isn't the way I wanted to earn the pole position, but I'll take it. I think you are going to see a lot of drafting and passing tomorrow."

-pms/gforce-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Felipe Giaffone , Scott Dixon , Tora Takagi , Chip Ganassi , Mo Nunn , Alex Baron
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing