IRL: Watkins Glen: Chip Ganassi Racing Friday report

Foggy Friday's Fast & Furious Fight for First--Just as he had done at Infineon Raceway in California last month, Giorgio Pantano, driver of the no.10 Target Toyota, set the fastest time in Friday morning practice with a quick lap of 1 minute, ...

Foggy Friday's Fast & Furious Fight for First--Just as he had done at Infineon Raceway in California last month, Giorgio Pantano, driver of the no.10 Target Toyota, set the fastest time in Friday morning practice with a quick lap of 1 minute, 52.1348 seconds (108.191 mph) despite the rainy and foggy conditions on the historic Watkins Glen International long course. Scott Dixon was tenth in that first session.

I Can See Clearly Now...-- With the rain gone and the track dry, the second practice session of the day saw lap times fall quickly. BUT... the track was anything but clear as the entire field took the track for the session causing traffic and some difficulties in being able to put together a proper lap time without being hampered by a slower car of yellow falg. Scott Dixon turned in a lap time of 1 min 33.2028 seconds to take the third spot on the timing sheet, while teammate Giorgio Pantano was sixth overall.

#9 Scott Dixon- Toyota / Panoz /Firestone
"In the first session, between the rain and some changes we made to the car, we lost a lot of speed under braking," said Dixon. "In the second session, the no. 9 Target Toyota Panoz was a lot better but it was more difficult to put a clear lap together because of all the traffic and the cautions. If you watched the split times for everyone, it was amusing to see them all over the place. Qualifying will definitely be interesting because you just can't make a mistake.'

#10 Giorgio Pantano- Toyota / Panoz /Firestone
"This morning went very well for us despite the rain but this afternoon there was just too much traffic and I couldn't get a good lap in," said Pantano. "I think we have a very fast car and I am getting a lot more confidence with every lap. I am hoping to put it that perfect lap tomorrow in qualifying."

Road Trip--Target Chip Ganassi Racing hits the road for a third and final time this season as they get set race in the Finger Lakes region of New York at the historic 3.37-mile undulating road circuit of Watkins Glen International. Target Chip Ganassi Racing will field two cars this weekend with Scott Dixon and Giorgio Pantano at the helm. This will be the 16th of 17 races on the IndyCar Series season schedule.

The Road to Success-- Target Chip Ganassi Racing has working all year for that elusive win and Watkins Glen track looks to be their best hope as the 2005 IndyCar season begins to draw to a close with just one more race in Fontana in October. The Target drivers have tested here twice this season on the racetrack which features 11 turns on the long course with varied banking between 6 and 10 degrees, 115 feet between the lowest point and the highest point of the track, and highlighted by "The Boot," "The Loop" and "The Chute". This weekend's race will be the first major open-wheel series race at the facility since 1981.

King of the Road- Target Chip Ganassi Racing has had a long history of success on road courses. The team boast a total of 45 wins since 1994 (IRL and Champ Car) and 26 of those have come on road or street courses. Their last road course win was at Mexico City in 2002 with driver Kenny Brack.

On the Road to Recovery-- Target Chip Ganassi Racing's 23-year-old Australian IndyCar rookie driver Ryan Briscoe (no.33 Target Pioneer /Toyota /Panoz /Firestone) continues to progress on his road to recovery after a spectacular incident on Sunday, September 11, at Chicagoland Speedway. He was released from Indianapolis' Methodist Hospital on Monday September 19.

After being transferred from Chicago's Advocate Christ Hospital 24 hours after the incident, Briscoe underwent further evaluation and treatment at Indianapolis' Methodist Hospital under the care of Dr. Scott Bjerke, Dr. Terry Trammell and Dr. Kevin Sheid, with the assistance of Indy Racing League medical personnel.

Briscoe sustained a concussion, two broken collarbones, a bruised lung and contusions to his legs and arms. He also has a tiny fracture to a small bone in his right foot and several contusions on his back. All injuries are expected to heal without requiring surgery.

Based on Briscoe's current condition, the team plans to campaign a two-car effort for each of the final two races of the 2005 IndyCar season at Watkins Glen and California Speedway.

Catch it LIVE--Target fans can tune in to watch the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix Presented by Argent Mortgage on ESPN Live at 3:30 pm (EDT) on Sunday, September 25th. The race will also be broadcast on the IMS Radio Network and available on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 (XM Extreme).


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Giorgio Pantano , Scott Dixon , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing