Led by Long Beach Grand Prix race winner Helio Castroneves, Honda-powered drivers swept the top four positions today in qualifying for this weekend's Firestone Firehawk 500 here at the Twin Ring Motegi oval, the fifth round in the 2001 CART FedEx...
Led by Long Beach Grand Prix race winner Helio Castroneves, Honda-powered drivers swept the top four positions today in qualifying for this weekend's Firestone Firehawk 500 here at the Twin Ring Motegi oval, the fifth round in the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series.
Located approximately 65 miles northeast of Tokyo, the state-of-the-art Twin Ring Motegi facility was built by Honda in 1997, and Marlboro Team Penske driver's pole is the third here for Honda in the four year history of the event. It also is the second pole of the season for both Castroneves and Honda.
Alongside Castroneves on the grid is 1999 championship runner-up Dario Franchitti, the Team KOOL Green driver having his best qualifying run of the season to-date. Just two-thousandths of a second slower, defending series champion Gil de Ferran will start on the inside of the second row along side Tony Kanaan in the Mo Nunn Racing Honda.
Alex Zanardi and Adrian Fernandez also were top-ten qualifiers today. Tomorrow's 500-kilometer race starts at 12:30 p.m. local time, with television coverage on ABC starting Saturday, May 19, at 1:00 p.m. EDT.
Helio Castroneves (#3 Marlboro Team Penske Honda) pole qualifier: "Our car has been very quick from the start of the weekend. The wind shifted a bit for qualifying but it had no effect on us today. And Honda, these guys, I tell you, they're really working hard all of the time. We have a very good engine for this weekend, as we always do. I'm still very excited, and can't wait for tomorrow. I want to win my first oval race." [Note: Castroneves has three CART career wins, all on permanent road courses or temporary street circuits.]