Takagi finishes 6th, Giaffone 13th at Pikes Peak Indy 225 FOUNTAIN, Colo. (Sunday, June 15, 2003) -- Mo Nunn Racing teammates Tora Takagi and Felipe Giaffone finished sixth and 13th, respectively, in today's Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International...
Takagi finishes 6th, Giaffone 13th at Pikes Peak Indy 225
FOUNTAIN, Colo. (Sunday, June 15, 2003) -- Mo Nunn Racing teammates Tora Takagi and Felipe Giaffone finished sixth and 13th, respectively, in today's Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway.
Takagi and the #12 Pioneer/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force started fifth on a grid based on yesterday's practice times as single-car qualifying was rained out. Takagi battled an ill-handling car during his first fuel-and-tire run and fell back to eighth by the initial round of pit stops on Lap 93 of today's 225-lap event around the PPIR mile oval. He moved up to sixth after that round of pit stops but still battled handling problems during his second fuel-and-tire run, falling a lap down just before his second and final stop of the day under yellow on Lap 166. Takagi re-emerged in ninth after that round of stops but, with his handling problems finally solved with changes made on his second stop, he ran in the lead pack the rest of the way and picked up three spots by the checkered flag.
Giaffone and the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force started third and stayed in the top five until the first round of stops on Lap 93. A mixup in the pits, coupled with a stuck fuel vent hose and slight wheel-to-wheel contact with the car of Tomas Scheckter cost valuable on that first stop. Giaffone served a drive-through penalty for leaving the pits with the fuel vent probe stuck in his car, a penalty that set him back almost two laps for a deficit he never could make up. Giaffone re-emerged in 14th place after that ill-fated pit stop and picked up one more spot before the end of the race.
After taking next weekend off, the next stop on the 2003 IRL IndyCar Series tour is Saturday night, June 28, on the Richmond International Raceway three-quarter-mile oval.
"I have to say it was great work by my engineers to get my car just right in time for my last run. But, unfortunately, it was too late because we lost a lap during the first two runs. I was fighting an oversteer condition, for the most part, and my car was also pushing at times. It was a difficult situation, but we got it worked out. We were able to stay in the lead pack for the entire final run. I was just not going to be able to get around anybody in front of me so I could get back on the lead lap. I will take sixth place today, considering the problems we had in the first part of the race."
"I don't think we had a winning car, but I definitely think we would have finished in the top five if we wouldn't have had a problem on our first pit stop. We're not exactly sure why it all happened. We'll have to study the tape and see what happened, exactly. There was definitely a mixup about whether to go. And that was complicated by the fact that the vent hose stuck in the car, and the delay caused me to bump into (Tomas) Scheckter, who was coming into the very next pit. I got a drive-through penalty because of the vent hose, and that put us more than a lap down, so that was the end of our day. It's unfortunate because we could have used the points you get for a top-five finish, especially with the way our luck has been going lately. Oh well. It's on to the next one."