ROOKIE BRISCOE LEADS OPENING DAY OF PRACTICE AT INFINEON SONOMA, Calif., Friday, Aug. 26, 2005 -- Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers dominated the speed charts as rookie Ryan Briscoe led the opening day of practice for the Aug. 28 Argent...
ROOKIE BRISCOE LEADS OPENING DAY OF PRACTICE AT INFINEON
SONOMA, Calif., Friday, Aug. 26, 2005 -- Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers dominated the speed charts as rookie Ryan Briscoe led the opening day of practice for the Aug. 28 Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway.
Briscoe posted a lap of 1 minute, 16.5744 seconds, 108.130 mph, in the No. 33 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota-powered Panoz. The Australian's time was slightly faster than two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, who recorded a lap of 1:16.6157, 108.072 mph, in his No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Toyota-powered Dallara. Briscoe earned the right to determine the order for Marlboro Pole Qualifying on Aug. 27.
2004 IRL IndyCar® Series champion Tony Kanaan was third-quickest at 1:16.6585, 108.012 mph in his No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Honda-powered Dallara with Briscoe's teammates, Scott Dixon and IndyCar Series newcomer Giorgio Pantano were fourth and fifth, respectively in their Toyota-powered Panozes.
INDYCAR SERIES POST PRACTICE QUOTES:
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 33 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Toyota/Firestone, fastest in practice): "It was actually a pretty good session. We didn't get any yellows like in the first session, so we were able to get a pretty good rhythm out there. The car on new tires was handling well. There were a couple of points we need to improve still, but it's definitely exciting to be back on the road course. These Target Chip Ganassi cars are certainly top cars for these road courses, so I'm looking forward to the race." (About determining the qualifying order): "It has to be an advantage. We'll look at the conditions tomorrow, who drives before us and what the weather is doing. We'll have up until an hour before the start of qualifying to decide the order, so hopefully I'll have the ideal track conditions as well to go out and post a fast time. Actually what today was about was getting a good car setup and putting us in a good position to qualify at the front."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone, third fastest): "We're just working towards qualifying and trying to find the best setup for the Team 7-Eleven car. We had a couple of issues; I spun twice, so I'm not very happy with the setup I have right now. We finished third fastest on the day, so it doesn't look that bad."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone, second fastest): "The car was fast right off the bat. In the second session, we had a radio problem. They were calling me in, and I kept going because I was having so much fun. We put on tires too late, and the car was experiencing oversteer and balance problems, so I kind of struggled. We want to be first, but we want to be first tomorrow. The group is tight and we want to make sure that every hundredth of the second counts."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Toyota/Firestone, fourth fastest): "I think we knew we'd be pretty strong here after the test in April. I'm pretty happy. The second session wasn't as good for us because we made some changes on the car. But the changes obviously didn't work. For this team, it's great. It's really lifted everybody's thoughts, and it makes it a lot easier to work. I think we'll have a good race car on Sunday."
GIORGIO PANTANO (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz/Toyota/ Firestone, fifth fastest): "I think the day went quite well. I'm very excited about the car, and I'm really pleased with the team and the hard work they did. They made me comfortable in the car. I'm here, and we'll see what happens. From what I've seen, we have a good chance of being competitive this weekend. We will do our best."