Marco Andretti will start the Indy Japan 300 at Motegi from 17th, after rain put paid to the rookie's chance of a good grid placing - but was in the same boat as all his Andretti-Green team mates as they were forced to watch an empty track in qualifying.

"Since we didn't qualify this afternoon we spent the entire session working on long, full fuel runs with the car and working with the tools in the cockpit," said the young Andretti. "There's quite a bit of difference in the car from the beginning of the run until the end. I really like the track and I think we have a good race car."

Scot Dario Franchitti, who was a couple of places behind team mate Bryan Herta, throughout practice proved as equally calm and pragmatic as Andretti jnr.

"Since we didn't qualify this afternoon we spent the entire session working on long, full fuel runs with the car and working with the tools in the cockpit," said Franchitti.

"There's quite a bit of difference in the car from the beginning of the run until the end," added the Scot who will start tenth. "I really like the track and I think we have a good race car."

Herta will undoubtedly be a threat for Sunday's race starting seventh, but seemed more affected by the disruption of qualifying than his team mates.

"The big problem is that we just didn't get very much practice in because of all the rain," sighed the veteran racer. "Because of that, it's difficult to find the right balance for your car. The team still has some work to do, but we'll be ready to race tomorrow."

It was left to Tony Kanaan to lead the Andretti-Green attack in Japan, 'qualifying' fifth. The Swede simply stated the obvious for his plans come Sunday.

"it should be very exciting," said Kanaan, "some cars will be moving up through the field and others are going to be dropping back. I'm looking to go towards the front."

 

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