ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Saturday, Aug. 17, 2002) -- Practice and qualifying woes continued today for Tony Kanaan and the ...
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Saturday, Aug. 17, 2002) -- Practice and qualifying woes continued today for Tony Kanaan and the #10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Lola team in preparation for Sunday's Grand Prix of Road America. For the second day in a row, Kanaan did not post an official qualifying lap and will start Sunday's 60-lap event over the 4-mile Road America permanent road course from the 18th and final spot on the grid. Kanaan actually had posted a lap of 1 minute, 44.36 seconds (139.844 mph) not long after this afternoon 's 60-minute final qualifying session went green. It came on his fourth of 15 allotted trips around the circuit. But a mechanical failure on the very next lap ended that run, which brought out the red flag so safety crews could clean up the track. Because of the red flag, Kanaan lost his best lap time, and his official qualifying time reverted to his next-best lap to that point, a 1:45.15 (138.838 mph) lap that came on his third trip around the circuit. It would have placed him 17th in the final qualifying order. The team chose to bring out the back-up Pioneer-WorldCom car in an effort to better Kanaan's qualifying time, but fuel pressure maladies that plagued the 10X car all through today's morning qualifying session continued, and Kanaan could make no qualifying effort in earnest. Kanaan's best time in the back-up car during practice this morning was 1:44.902 (138.918 mph). On Friday, the rear wing broke off of Kanaan's primary car, sending him into the Turn 1 runoff and damaging the car just enough to force Kanaan into his back-up car for provisional qualifying. Turbo boost problems with the back-up car kept Kanaan from posting a qualifying lap on Friday.
Bruno Junqueira stole the top spot today from Friday's provisional polesitter Cristiano da Matta with a lap of 1:42.151 (142.652 mph). Da Matta will start second with a time of 1:42.640 (141.451 mph). Alex Tagliani will start third after a fast qualifying lap of 1:42.684 (141.919 mph).
Race time Sunday is 2 p.m. local time (3 p.m. EDT) with a live race broadcast provided by Speed Channel, which begins its coverage with a 30-minute pre-race show at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
TONY KANAAN QUOTES
"Well, this is going to be interesting. I haven't started dead last in my entire life. I guess it happens to every driver at one point or another, and tomorrow I get my turn. I think I might be getting close to some sort of Guinness Book of Records entry for 'Worst Racing Weekend,' or something like that. At least it feels that way right now. You name the problem and we've had it this weekend. There's nowhere to go but up from here. We're going to have to get very creative with our strategy and hope there are a lot of yellows. I hate to think that way, but that's our only chance. My greatest wish is that I have a good race car tomorrow. That's all any driver can ask for. I gave it my all every lap. We just haven't had many laps around this track this weekend. It's a shame, but we'll find a way to deal with it, and make the best of it."