Sao Paulo: Panther Racing Saturday report

Panther Finishes 14th in Practice at Brazil; Qualifications Cancelled for Track Adjustment Wheldon Makes Dramatic Improvement in Final Practice Session, Panther Prepares for 2010 Debut SAO PAULO, Brazil - (March 13, 2010) -- An adventurous pair...

Panther Finishes 14th in Practice at Brazil; Qualifications Cancelled for Track Adjustment
Wheldon Makes Dramatic Improvement in Final Practice Session, Panther Prepares for 2010 Debut

SAO PAULO, Brazil - (March 13, 2010) -- An adventurous pair of practice sessions today on the streets of Sao Paulo led IZOD IndyCar Series officials to cancel qualifications for tomorrow's Sao Paulo Indy 300 so track workers could improve a very slick portion of concrete surface. The track's front straight, the only concrete section of the 11-turn, 2.6-mile course, will be ground slightly to improve traction for IndyCar participants tomorrow.

"We continue to work with circuit designer Tony Cotman and the promoter to fine tune the track with the feedback we've received from the drivers," the Indy Racing League said in a statement. "This process is no different than any other new circuit that we visit for the first time. Tony Cotman has done a great job creating a fast and racy track that will be a challenge to these world-class competitors while putting on a great show for our enthusiastic fans."

National Guard Panther Racing driver Dan Wheldon finished 14th overall amongst the 24 competitors entered in tomorrow's event with a top lap speed of 98.969 mph, 1:32.2469 seconds. Like many in the paddock the third and final practice session of the day was the most productive, and the changes the team made to the No. 4 car made a significant difference to its performance.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"We had a really productive last session. We made some dramatic improvements on the National Guard car and it was really fun to drive. When we made those changes it really changed the way I felt about the track, and I think it's going to be an exciting race for IZOD IndyCar Series fans because you have that long straight where you can get a really good draft, which will certainly present many overtaking opportunities. The mechanics did a really good job because (Chief Engineer) David Cripps threw a really big change at them for this last session and they got it completed really quickly and it worked out perfectly because it really changed the balance of the car. We'll see what happens with the track overnight, and obviously take that into consideration with some of the stuff we're going to change, and hopefully go even better tomorrow."

-source: panther racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dan Wheldon
Teams Panther Racing