Tony Kanaan ...
#17 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Chevrolet G-Force
86th Indianapolis 500 - Practice Notes/Quotes - Thursday, May 9, 2002
Indianapolis Motor Speedway - 2.5-Mile Oval
Round 5 of 15 on the 2002 Indy Racing League
Tony Kanaan got a new primary car today, courtesy of teammate Felipe Giaffone, and he promptly put his name atop the speed charts with the fastest practice lap of the day and the second-fastest lap of this opening week of preparation for the 86th Indianapolis 500. Kanaan and the #17 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Chevrolet G-Force clocked a fast lap of 229.503 mph today in a car that yesterday was Giaffone's back-up car. It was almost 3 mph faster than the 226.891-mph lap he broke off during a six-lap "experiment" in that car on Wednesday. The Hollywood/Mo Nunn team converted the car into Kanaan's primary car overnight Wednesday, and the young Brazilian made the most out of the opportunity today. Kanaan put in a total of 47 practice laps today. His lap today was surpassed only by fellow rookie Laurent Redon's lap of 229.808 mph on Tuesday.
Giaffone and the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Chevrolet G-Force team went back to their primary car today for the first time since Monday and recorded a fast lap of 225.913 mph. Giaffone's lap was the 16th-fastest of the day among 40 cars that took to the track. It was just shy of the 225.930 mph fast lap he had on Monday in the same car, but well short of the 226.998 mph lap he put together in his back-up car on Wednesday. Giaffone completed 55 laps in all today.
Kenny Brack was second-fastest today at 229.025 mph, followed by Helio Castroneves in third at 228.736 mph. Friday is the final practice day of the week before Pole Day qualifying on Saturday. For the first time since Sunday, the weather forecast is calling for dry conditions on Friday. Today 's session was delayed by rain for 90 minutes, the fourth consecutive day of rain delays.
"Talk about a boost in confidence. I'm starting to like this Indy 500 thing a whole lot. I really have to thank my teammate Felipe for letting me have that car after we struggled the first part of the week with my primary car. I just hope he lets me keep the car! If he wants it back, he's more than welcome to have it because he's fighting for the IRL championship and I'm just here for the Indy 500. Maybe if I buy him dinner he'll let me keep it! Actually, I got a lot of help from Jimmy Vasser on that fast lap ... it wasn 't reality. But it feels good anytime you're on top of the timesheet. Realistically, we're capable of running consistent 227.6s to 227.8s. That means we have a solid race car. My goal for qualifying when we came here was, first, to make the show, and then, to make the top 10. Now, I'm feeling like we're capable of going for the pole. I'm definitely going to give it my best shot. Today was the first time I really felt comfortable in the Hollywood car. It's night-and-day different from my CART car. I wasn't comfortable in traffic until today. When you have all that downforce, like these cars have, you lose it all when you run in traffic and that makes it tough to drive. So it's a lot different than what I'm used to. But when you have a good car, like we have, now, you tend to feel a lot better about everything. I'm excited, but tomorrow's another day, and then Saturday's qualifying, when we go for all the marbles."