Second practice: Castroneves on top

Team Penske's Helio Castroneves took fast time honours in the afternoon Champ Car practice session at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan. The Brazilian's best lap of 26.192 seconds (212.767mph) was 0.05 off the mark set in the morning by Tony Kanaan in the Mo Nunn Reynard-Honda

Second practice: Castroneves on top

"My car was very good straight out of the box today," Castroneves said. "The car feels very smooth and the Honda power is strong. I hope we keep doing a good job, because tomorrow counts more than today and race day is even more important. The times are already faster than last year, and I think we will be even faster in qualifying."

Constant 15-mph winds kept speeds down in the afternoon session and played tricks on the drivers.

"There was definitely a head wind on the front straight and a tail wind on the back straight," remarked Kanaan. "I thought something was strange with the car until the team got on the radio and told me the wind picked up. But I had a very consistent car on long runs."

Cristiano da Matta led the Toyota runners in third place, 0.063 seconds off Kanaan's morning pace. Bruno Junqueira continued his improved form and took the fourth spot, ahead of top Ford-runner Patrick Carpentier, two-time Motegi winner Adrian Fernandez and Kenny Brack.

"It was tough, because we were trying some set-up changes in the afternoon," da Matta said. "We got confused a little until we realised that the wind was the problem. It had quite an effect, to be honest."

Tony Kanaan Reynard-Honda 26.142s 213.174mph
Helio Castroneves Reynard-Honda 26.192s 212.767mph
Cristiano da Matta Lola-Toyota 26.255s 212.257mph
Bruno Junquiera Lola-Toyota 26.269s 212.144mph
Patrick Carpentier Reynard-Ford 26.283s 212.031mph
Adrian Fernandez Reynard-Honda 26.295s 211.934mph
Kenny Brack Lola-Ford 26.320s 211.733mph
Christian Fittipaldi Lola-Toyota 26.346s 211.524mph
Alex Zanardi Reynard-Honda 26.352s 211.475mph
Gil de Ferran Reynard-Honda 26.353s 211.467mph

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First practice: Kanaan fast in Japan

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