Alex Zanardi and the ...
Alex Zanardi and the #66 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard will start Sunday's Lehigh Valley Grand Prix from the inside 11th-row position after single-car qualifying today at the Nazareth Speedway 1-mile tri-oval. Zanardi, who had to switch to his back-up car after problems in this morning's practice session, set a fast lap time of 20.505 seconds (an average of 166.096 mph) today. He was the first qualifier on a track that was rained on since the morning practice sessions, yet bettered his Friday practice times by more than a second a lap.
Teammate Tony Kanaan and his #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard qualified in 10th position with a fast lap of 20.187 seconds (168.703 mph) Kanaan was some 1.3 seconds faster than his best practice laps of the day on Friday. Engineers and crew for both Kanaan and Zanardi's cars worked into the night getting the cars ready for qualifying today. Kanaan's qualifying run was delayed 15 minutes as the car of Nicolas Minassian, who took to the track just before him, crashed hard in Turn 2 and spilled fluids onto the track. Rookie Bruno Junqueira won his first pole of the season with a lap of 19.700 seconds (172.873 mph), with Kenny Brack set to start on the front row alongside him after a qualifying lap of 19.738 seconds (172.540 mph). Michel Jourdain was third at 19.950 seconds (170.707 mph).
Race time Sunday is 1 p.m. EDT and it will be aired live by ABC-TV. Today's qualifying show will be broadcast by ESPN2 at 1 a.m. EDT Sunday. The CART2DAY warm-up show will air at 11 a.m. EDT on ESPN2.
ALEX ZANARDI W"I'm happy with the way we're running, with the race car we have, after all that has happened to us the last two days. On an oval, it's very difficult to build (set up) two identical cars, but I think we came pretty close between my primary car and my back-up car. It was unfortunate we didn't get to run the entire practice this morning, but those are the breaks. Tony found some things that helped me out a lot, and I found some things that helped him. It's amazing how well we seem to be working together on race weekends. Now we just have to translate that synergy into results on race day. It will be difficult starting from where we are (21st on the grid) on this track, but we'll decide our strategy and do our best to stay out of trouble."