IRL: Texas II: Panoz G Force Saturday report

Five Panoz G Force Drivers Practice in Top Ten for IRL Texas Finale FT WORTH, October 16, 2004 - Mark Taylor led the Panoz G Force family of drivers in practice for Sunday's season ending Chevy 500K on the high banks of Texas Motor Speedway's ...

Five Panoz G Force Drivers Practice in Top Ten for IRL Texas Finale

FT WORTH, October 16, 2004 - Mark Taylor led the Panoz G Force family of drivers in practice for Sunday's season ending Chevy 500K on the high banks of Texas Motor Speedway's 1.5-mile oval. Taylor, the rookie Briton driving the #13 Access Motorsports Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone racer posted the third quickest speed of the day in the late afternoon final practice session at 214.001mph.

Another rookie, Kosuke Matsuura was fourth for the day, also posting his quick lap of 213.801mph in the afternoon session with the #55 Panasonic/ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda with which he'll attempt to earn 2004 Bombardier Rookie of the Year honors during tomorrow's 200-lap, 300-mile contest.

Vitor Meira was fifth overall in the #17 Team Centrix Panoz G Force/Honda at 213.760mph, using his morning speed to gain that slot. Meira said his car "felt really good in practice. I'm pleased with the settings and I think [teammate] Buddy [Rice] and I should be able to run right at the front of the pack.

Rice's morning lap of 213.514mph in the #15 Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Panoz G Force/Honda gave him eighth place for the day and he remarked, "We were in a good position during practice. I'm sure the race will have a close finish like it always does here at Texas," said the 2004 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner, who is contending for second in the season standings, 25 points behind Dan Wheldon.

2003 IRL IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, who starts sixth in tomorrow's race after posting a single qualifying lap rounded out the top ten with his lap of 213.320mph in the #1 Team Target Panoz G Force/Toyota. "With qualifying on Friday, we spent a lot more time concentrating on race setup today and I'm happy with our Panoz G Force. I could run high and low," the Kiwi remarked.

The season-closing Chevy 500K takes the green flags shortly before noon local time (CDT) and comprises 200 laps and 300 miles. According to Dixon, "There will probably be one big pack with cars running side by side for the whole race. It should be exciting for fans and quite the battle for drivers," he said.

The Panoz G Force chassis is the sole Indy car designed and constructed in the United States. Despite powering only seven of 22 regular IndyCar Series competitors, the Panoz G Force chassis has amassed six victories in the 15 races held thus far in 2004.

-pgf-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mark Taylor , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Kosuke Matsuura , Vitor Meira