BRISCOE, CASTRONEVES LEAD AS TOYOTAS TOP SONOMA SPEED CHARTS Rookie Ryan Briscoe (Target Pioneer Toyota) registered the fastest overall practice speed, while Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Team Penske Toyota) was second in Friday's two practice...
BRISCOE, CASTRONEVES LEAD AS TOYOTAS TOP SONOMA SPEED CHARTS
Rookie Ryan Briscoe (Target Pioneer Toyota) registered the fastest overall practice speed, while Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Team Penske Toyota) was second in Friday's two practice sessions at Infineon Raceway in preparation for Saturday's qualifying for the Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix.
- After registering the fastest time today, Ryan Briscoe will get to decide the qualifying order tomorrow in terms of whether the field qualifies fastest to slowest or vice versa for single-car qualifying prior to the Firestone Fast Six group qualifying.
- In addition to the top marks registered by Briscoe and Castronves, Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Scott Dixon (fourth) and Giorgio Pantano (fifth) also were in the top-five today, giving Toyota four of the five fastest cars on the track on Friday. Pantano is making his first IndyCar Series start this weekend.
- Sam Hornish Jr. (Marlboro Team Penske Toyota) and Alex Barron (Red Bull Toyota) placed ninth and tenth to give Toyota six of the top-10 spots.
- Sunday's Argent Mortgatge Indy Grand Prix will be televised live on ESPN beginning at 3:30 p.m. EDT
RYAN BRISCOE, #33 Target Chip Toyota: "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. Toyota has been doing a lot of work and you can feel that the engine feels much improved since testing here in April."
HELIO CASTRONEVES, #3 Marlboro Team Penske Toyota: "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, #9 Target Chip Ganassi Toyota: "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, #10 Target Chip Ganassi Toyota: "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."
ALEX BARRON, #51 Red Bull Toyota: "It's really nice to be back on a road course after having been on so many ovals lately. I think that the testing we did here and Watkins Glen seems to have helped us quite a bit. The engineering staff has done a lot of homework trying to find us grip. We've definitely come a long way. I'm pretty with what we did today. I'm pretty comfortable in the car, and I had a pretty good setup to start the day. Tonight we're going to make a motor change, so hopefully we'll jump up tomorrow and qualify toward the front."
PATRICK CARPENTIER, #83 Red Bull Toyota: "It's a beautiful track, but we need to find a little bit more speed. Overall, we were a little disappointed with what we were able to do today. We started out and kind of messed up what would have been my fast lap. The car is sliding around too much right now. We're going to look at some of the data and compare it to what Alex is doing, but I think we can get it figured out tomorrow so we're able to put together a good qualifying run."