IRL: Phoenix: Panoz G Force race report

Giaffone on the podium in drama filled Phoenix day. Mo Nunn Racing's Felipe Giaffone earned a top three finish aboard a Panoz G Force chassis today in a drama filled second round of the IRL IndyCar Series at Phoenix International ...

Giaffone on the podium in drama filled Phoenix day.

Mo Nunn Racing's Felipe Giaffone earned a top three finish aboard a Panoz G Force chassis today in a drama filled second round of the IRL IndyCar Series at Phoenix International Raceway.

Giaffone was the only Panoz G Force driver to complete the race which had only 12 of the 22 starters still running at the finish.

Chip Ganassi Racing duo Scott Dixon (gearbox failure) and Tomas Scheckter (accident) were eliminated after strong showings while Giaffone's team-mate Tora Takagi crashed after trying avoid a spinning Gil de Feran on only the second lap.

"We are very pleased for Felipe to get a top three spot for Mo's team, but our day could certainly have turned out a lot better," Panoz G Force, Chief Designer, Simon Marshall said.

"Tora (Takagi) was unlucky to get caught out by somebody else's spin and Tomas was also looking good for a strong finish when he crashed.

"Scott (Dixon) was outstanding to lead the first 34 laps and he was very happy with the car. He could have had another win if not for the gearbox problem.

"He also set the fastest lap of the race on lap 13 with a pretty full load of fuel on board - that is a very good sign.

"Between Scott and Felipe, we led 92 laps which is extremely pleasing, but with all the yellows, the race didn't quite fall our way.

"We now head for Japan which is a track which should really suit our car. All our guys are really looking forward to the larger tracks, because that is where our car should be even stronger."

Today's race was won by Tony Kanaan ahead of Helio Castroneves with Giaffone in third place.

"It was a really tough day, but I think we have to be happy with the result," Giaffone said.

"My crew did a wonderful job in the pits. They gained me a spot on the first stop, and I was able to hold my position on my other two stops. I told them on the radio that they deserved to win today. They gave me a perfect car. We didn't have to make any changes all day.

"The Hollywood car had to be the best car today, especially early in the race. I was in the lead and I was able to save fuel and still pull away from the guys behind me. I thought for a while that today was going to be our day."

-pmg-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Tora Takagi , Chip Ganassi , Mo Nunn
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing