CHAMPCAR/CART: Casey Mears Gold Coast quilifying notes

Casey Mears ...

Casey Mears
#66 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard QHonda Indy 300 - Saturday, Oct. 27, 2001
Surfers ParadiseQ\, Queensland, Australia - 2.795-Mile Temporary Street Course
Round 20 of 21 on the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series

Casey Mears and the #66 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard will start Sunday's Honda Indy 300 on the outside of the 12th row. Mears lapped the 2.795-mile Surfers Paradise temporary street course in 1 minute, 35.401 seconds (an average of 105.471 mph), good for 11th in today's first of two 30-minute group qualifying sessions and 24th overall. Conditions today were clear, sunny and dry - in stark contrast to Friday's wet and rainy conditions that hampered the entire first day of practice. This morning's 75-minute practice was the only dry session teams had to prepare for this afternoon's qualifying rounds. Sunny and dry weather is expected once again for Sunday.

Tony Kanaan and the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard will start from the inside of the 10th row. Kanaan turned in a fast lap of 1:34.319 (106.681 mph) during today's second group qualifying session, good for 19th overall. Roberto Moreno won the pole today in 1:32.095 (109.257 mph), followed by Gil de Ferran at 1:32.406 (108.889 mph) and Cristiano da Matta at 1:32.552 (108.717 mph).

Race time Sunday is 2 p.m. local time (midnight EDT Saturday night/Sunday morning) with a tape-delayed broadcast set for ESPN at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday.

CASEY MEARS
"I've been behind all weekend because this is my first time racing on this track. It didn't help that we got rained on all day Friday, but I still got a good number of laps in to learn the course. We had a bit of a problem in practice this morning, but we made some improvements and picked up some time. Unfortunately, my hot lap in the qualifying session was the only one I got. I had two others going exactly when the red flag came out (due to on-course incidents involving other cars), so that was disappointing. I feel good that we're progressing quickly. My best lap came on my very last qualifying lap. I feel like we could've run harder, but, first and foremost, I wanted to bring the car back in one piece. If it would've been under different circumstances, like if we had a shot at a top-five starting position or something, I might have taken a few more chances. But I'm happy to be headed in the right direction. We'll get some more laps in during morning warm-up, and hopefully we'll settle into a strategy that'll put us up front by the end of the race. I'm really looking forward to it. I love this place!"

- www.monunnracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Casey Mears , Gil de Ferran , Roberto Moreno , Tony Kanaan , Cristiano da Matta , Mo Nunn