Kanaan on the pole for Sunday's Grand Prix Americas. MIAMI, Fla. (Saturday, Oct. 5, 2002) -- Tony Kanaan and the ...
Kanaan on the pole for Sunday's Grand Prix Americas.
MIAMI, Fla. (Saturday, Oct. 5, 2002) -- Tony Kanaan and the #10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Lola will start from the pole position in Sunday's inaugural Grand Prix Americas on the downtown streets of Miami's Bayfront Park after a wet final qualifying session today. Kanaan earned the provisional pole Friday with a fast lap of 1 minute, 1.264 seconds (81.503 mph) around the scenic 1.379-mile temporary circuit. He didn't have to turn a wheel to clinch the top starting spot during today's 60-minute final qualifying session, which started in rain-soaked conditions and never dried sufficiently enough to be declared a dry session.
With no chance to improve his starting position in the wet conditions, Kanaan was able to merely watch his 17 competitors battle it out during final qualifying today as the fastest lap was guaranteed a front-row starting spot alongside him and a championship point. Fastest today was Scott Dixon with a lap of 1:09.786 (71.550 mph), solidifying the outside-front-row starting spot he earned in provisional qualifying Friday with a lap some eight seconds faster. Tora Takagi, third in provisional qualifying Friday at 1:02.039 (81.264 mph), will start third Sunday.
The pole is the third in Kanaan's five-year CART career and second on a permanent road or temporary street circuit. His first career pole came at Long Beach in 1999, the second on the 1-mile oval at Chicago last season.
Race time Sunday is 1 p.m. EDT with a live broadcast set for CBS-TV in most markets. (Check listings as local affiliates showing NFL games at 1 p.m. EDT will delay the race broadcast until 4:30 p.m. EDT.)
"That was about the easiest day I can remember for what we got out of it. We ran all of about five hot laps in practice this morning and were able to scuff all of our race tires for tomorrow, so we got that accomplished. They never declared the qualifying a dry session, so I knew that unless Scott Dixon could beat my time from yesterday on his rain tires, then I'm in great shape to win the pole. If he could beat my time on rain tires, then I would have just packed it up for the weekend and gone home! I got in the car at the end of the session and, actually, was having a fun time joking on the radio with my guys. My rain dance to the Brazilian patron saint of rain (St. Claire) really worked today. It's so important to be starting up front here tomorrow. On a street track like this, I'd say where you start is about 50 percent of the effort for race day. The other 50 percent is your ability to stay out of trouble and have nice, clean pit stops. It's going to be nearly impossible to pass out there, so you're going to see a lot of interesting strategy going on behind us. And you might see quite a few yellows. So it could turn out to be one of those action-packed races. We just need to stay out of the way and hope for the best."