MAY 12, 2003
Toyota and Honda go head-to-head at Indy
This year's Indianapolis 500 will almost certainly be the first to be won by a Japanese car manufacturer. Qualifying for the big event took place on Sunday and Toyota and Honda powered cars dominated proceedings with pole position going to Marlboro Team Penske's Helio Castroneves in a Dallara-Toyota at a speed of 231.725mph. The Brazilian is going for a third consecutive win this year but has strong opposition from Andretti Green Racing's stable of Dallara-Hondas with Tony Kanaan, Robby Gordon and Dan Wheldon all qualified in the top five. Also up there is New Zealander Scott Dixon in his Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force-Toyota, which qualified fourth fastest. The top 17 cars are all powered by either Honda or Toyota with the best Chevrolet runner being IRL champion Sam Hornish Jr., who lapped the track in 226.225mph, the 18th fastest speed.
Twenty-four cars are now qualified but some of these may be bumped next Sunday when others try to make the cut. The weather on Sunday was rather windy and it is anticipated that there will be some faster times if the weather is better next week. The front of the grid will not however change, even if cars go faster.
It is worth noting that in the field at the moment is AJ Foyt IV, the grandson of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner AJ Foyt. At 18 he is the youngest man ever to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.
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