Giaffone to start third, Takagi fifth at Pikes Peak FOUNTAIN, Colo. (Saturday, June 14, 2003) -- Mo Nunn Racing teammates Felipe Giaffone and Tora Takagi will start Sunday's Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway from the third and fifth...
Giaffone to start third, Takagi fifth at Pikes Peak
FOUNTAIN, Colo. (Saturday, June 14, 2003) -- Mo Nunn Racing teammates Felipe Giaffone and Tora Takagi will start Sunday's Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway from the third and fifth grid positions, respectively, as today's late-afternoon single-car qualifying session was rained out and the starting order was set based on the combined speeds from today's morning and afternoon practice sessions.
Giaffone and the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force circled the mile oval in 20.0777 seconds (179.303 mph) on his 42nd of 49 practice laps this afternoon. That speed was bested by Tony Kanaan's pole-winning afternoon practice lap of 19.9743 seconds (180.232 mph), and Helio Castroneves' afternoon practice lap of 20.0222 seconds (179.800 mph) that earned the outside-front-row starting spot for Sunday. Giaffone was fastest overall in today's morning practice session with a lap of 20.2105 seconds (178.125 mph).
Takagi and the #12 Pioneer/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force recorded a fast practice lap of 20.1023 seconds (179.084 mph) this afternoon, good for the inside-third-row starting position Sunday, after recording the seventh-fastest lap of the morning practice session, his first-ever look at the PPIR layout. Earlier in the day, Takagi was stripped of 23 points in the driver standings and put on probation for the remainder of the year, and the #12 Pioneer/Mo Nunn Racing team was stripped of 23 points in the entrant standings, in the aftermath of a late-race incident at Texas Motor Speedway during last Saturday night's Bombardier 500 that resulted in Scott Sharp and Takagi's teammate Giaffone crashing out of the event. Takagi went on to finish third at Texas, but the points he lost today dropped him from eighth to 10th in the driver standings.
"We started off with a good car from the very beginning today. I would have really liked to have had a real qualifying session because I really think, after some changes we made to the car after the afternoon practice, that we had a good shot at the pole. But starting third here is going to be alright. It's a very difficult track to get around people, even more so than Phoenix, so the race is going to be won or lost on pit stops, I'm sure. But you definitely will need to have a good race car. We had a great car for qualifying today. I'm not sure we had it where we wanted it for the race. But we'll work on that tomorrow morning and hopefully we'll have a good day. We haven't had any breaks, lately, so hopefully it will be our day tomorrow."
"This is my first time here at Pikes Peak and it looked like it during the morning practice session. We didn't go fast right away, but we learned about what the car likes and doesn't like on this track. We incorporated changes to the car based on Felipe's data and they made the car faster right away in the afternoon session. We definitely will need to be perfect with our pit stops because it will be difficult to overtake."