ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Friday, Aug. 16, 2002) -- Tony Kanaan and the ...
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Friday, Aug. 16, 2002) -- Tony Kanaan and the #10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Lola endured a rather frustrating opening day of practice and qualifying today for Sunday's Grand Prix of Road America. Kanaan started the day on the right foot, moving straight to the top of the speed charts in the 90-minute morning practice session and running a full second ahead of the rest of the field with some 30 minutes to go. But then he lost his rear wing at the end of the long front straightaway and went spinning into the gravel trap outside Turn 1 at 192 mph. Kanaan was unhurt and the car suffered minimal damage, but just enough to force Kanaan to run his back-up car in this afternoon's provisional qualifying session. That car turned out to have major turbo boost problems and Kanaan was never able to post a hot lap. His time of 1 minute, 44.516 seconds (139.431 mph) this morning over the 4-mile Road America permanent road course layout ended up seventh fastest for the practice session.
Cristiano da Matta sits on the provisional pole for Sunday after a fast qualifying lap this afternoon of 1:42.640 (141.980 mph). Bruno Junqueira was second at 1:42.744 (141.836 mph), followed by Dario Franchitti at 1:42.990 (141.497 mph).
Practice resumes Saturday morning with final qualifying set for 1:45 p.m. local time (2:45 p.m. EDT). Speed Channel will air a live, 90-minute qualifying show beginning at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Race time Sunday is 2:00 p.m. local time (3:00 p.m. EDT) with a live broadcast provided by Speed Channel.
TONY KANAAN QUOTES
"It's hard to keep your head up after a day like this, but we're not going to give up, by any means. It's only Friday, thank goodness. I show up every week with a good attitude, trying to pump the guys up and pull us out of this rash of problems that we've been having this year. But something always seems to go wrong. This morning, a part failed that holds the rear wing in place. That was a wild ride. I had no idea what happened. My team manager (Brad Filbey) came on the radio as I was coming down the front straight yelling something that I can't repeat here, but it was too late. I had already started spinning at 192 mph. All I was concerned about as I was heading toward the gravel trap was keeping the car straight. I was afraid of getting something caught in the gravel and flipping the car. Fortunately, the car just skimmed over the top of the gravel and I came to a stop ... eventually. When I got out of the car, I saw my wing sitting back there on the track and I knew right away what happened. I think we should just forget that today ever happened. We'll have our primary car up and running in time for morning practice, and we know it's a fast car. We just have to check a few things in the morning practice, and then hope for the best in qualifying. I hope the weather cooperates tomorrow. Today, the conditions were perfect. You hate to see a day like today go to waste."