Kanaan and Dixon top 206mph

Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan were fast in the opening practice session for the first IRL IndyCar Series race in Japan, but in the second session they were even faster!

Kanaan and Dixon top 206mph

Dixon and Kanaan both topped 206 mph during Friday's afternoon session at Twin Ring Motegi in preparation for Sunday's inaugural Indy Japan 300 - the first time the Indy Racing League has competed outside the U.S. in its eight-year history.

Dixon's Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota/G Force was clocked at 26.4353 seconds around the 1.5-mile oval during the afternoon session, topping his session-leading lap of 205.648 mph posted Friday morning.

Kanaan, second-fastest in the morning session, was also second in the afternoon, recording a 206.484 mph lap in his Andretti Green Racing Honda/Dallara.

Kenny Brack recorded the third-fastest lap of the afternoon session in his Honda-powered Team Rahal Dallara, with Kelley Racing team-mates, Al Unser Jr. and Scott Sharp, rounding out the top five with Toyota power.

The practice session appeared to set the stage for a tight duel on Sunday between Japanese automotive giants Honda and Toyota. Toyota had three of the five fastest laps of the day, while Honda had the other two. The two engine manufacturers secured the top 12 laps in the afternoon session.

The fastest Chevrolet-powered car in the 24-car field was driven by Sam Hornish Jr. Hornish managed the 13th-fastest lap, nearly 4 mph off Dixon's pace.

Two replacement drivers also performed well during Friday's sessions. Alex Barron, filling in for Gil de Ferran, had the ninth-fastest lap among the 24 cars in the second session, while Dan Wheldon, stepping in for Dario Franchitti, had the 12th-fastest lap.

Qualifying is scheduled for 13:00 local time on Saturday (00:00 Saturday EDT). The race is set for 12:30 local time on Sunday (23:30 Saturday EDT), although it will be televised in the US (from tape) by ABC at 13:00 EDT on Sunday.

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