CHAMPCAR/CART: Kanaan, Zanardi Vancouver preview

Mo Nunn Racig Molson Indy Vancouver - Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2001 Concord Pacific Place - Vancouver, B.C., Canada - 1.781-Mile Street Course Round 15 of 21 on the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series TONY KANAAN -- ...

Mo Nunn Racig
Molson Indy Vancouver - Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2001
Concord Pacific Place - Vancouver, B.C., Canada - 1.781-Mile Street Course
Round 15 of 21 on the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series


**This weekend marks Kanaan's 68th career Champ Car start and his 29th with Mo Nunn Racing. In his Champ Car career, he has one win (1999 U.S. 500), two poles (1999 at Long Beach, 2001 at Chicago), four podium finishes, nine top-fives, and 33 top-10s.

**Kanaan fell to 12th in the CART FedEx Championship Series driver point standings with 53 after finishing 12th at Road America two weekends ago. He qualified a disappointing 17th, then found himself in the top 10 for most of the race before falling off the pace with a late fuel stop.

**Kanaan remains third on this year's CART driver performance chart in the laps led category with 166. Only Kenny Brack (483), who's second in the points, and current points leader Helio Castroneves (389), have led more laps through the first 14 events.

**Last year here at Vancouver, Kanaan qualified 14th and finished 14th in his #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Mercedes-Benz Reynard. He was hit from behind during the early laps and lost several laps while his crew repaired broken rear suspension pieces. Kanaan qualified fifth here but finished 18th during his Rookie of the Year season of 1998 with Tasman Motorsports, then came back with Forsythe Championship Group in 1999 to finish ninth after qualifying 15th.

**In 21 career Champ Car starts on temporary street circuits, Kanaan has one pole (Long Beach 1999), one podium finish (third at Houston in 1998) and 11 top-10s.

**While last weekend was an off weekend for the CART series, Kanaan was hard at work for sponsor Hollywood in Brazil, making personal appearances at the country's largest outdoor rodeo event, the Festa do Peao Barretos.


"Vancouver has always been a very special place for me. I haven't even come close to winning there, but it is definitely a 'feel-good' kind of weekend. The fans are some of the best that we see all year. The racetrack is fun to drive, although it is very difficult to pass on. I'll have to say nothing would make us feel better than a win right now. We've shown some signs that we're ready. But then we've also had our not-so-good moments, too. We were a little unlucky at Mid-Ohio and Road America. Maybe this trip out west will turn out to be more special than ever."


**This weekend marks Zanardi's 65th career Champ Car start and his 14th with Mo Nunn Racing, which he joined this past offseason after a two-year hiatus from the series. He has 15 career wins, 28 podium finishes, 35 top-fives, and 40 top-10s.

**Two weekends ago at Road America, Zanardi qualified 23rd but worked his way into the top three until having to stop for a splash of fuel with just two laps remaining. He ended up 13th.

**Zanardi has qualified on the pole twice here at Concord Pacific Place, in 1996 and 1997, but he has never finished better than fourth, which he did in 1997 and again in 1998 during his back-to-back CART championship seasons. He qualified third during his last visit here in 1998.

**In 22 career Champ Car starts on temporary street circuits, Zanardi has seven wins, 11 podium finishes and 15 top-5s. He also has qualified on the pole four times, and on the front row 11 times altogether.


"Vancouver has always been a place of mixed results for me. I've always been fast there, but I've never been able to collect the kind of result I could have. Although in 1998 I won my second championship there, I'm still waiting to make up for some of the misfortunes I have had there. In this unlucky year for me and my team, I hope maybe this is the place we can finally have some good fortune. Vancouver is a street course in the true meaning of the word. There are a lot of places where you can lose the car and end up staying there at least for the session, or for the rest of the race. So you need to be very, very careful. On the other hand, everybody is up to speed by Sunday afternoon and you end up taking the turns and the curves just like you would on a true road course. In the past we've seen very unstable weather, which could affect things. Obviously, though, everything has to do with how well you have your car working. We haven't been, yet, in a situation where we've had the best car for our Sunday afternoon drive. But we've always found a way to make the most of it. If this could be the place where we could have the best car on Sunday afternoon, we all would be very happy."


**This season, Nunn is reunited with the driver (Zanardi) with whom he collaborated on back-to-back series titles in 1997 and 1998 for Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, as well as the series Rookie of the Year title in 1996.

**Nunn engineered Zanardi's back-to-back pole qualifying efforts here in 1996 and 1997. He also engineered Juan Montoya's victory from the pole here in 1999 enroute to that year's CART championship.

**Nunn scored his first pole position as a team owner with Tony Kanaan and the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard last month at Chicago. He also scored his first podium finish as team owner in May when Kanaan brought home the #55 car in third place at Japan's Twin Ring Motegi.


"Well, we're back on a street course this weekend, and both Tony and Alex have had some of their best outings on street courses this year, and in years past. Tony had a great run at Long Beach this year. And Alex almost came away with a podium finish for us at Toronto. Vancouver is very much like those tracks. In a lot of ways it's a car-owner's nightmare with concrete walls all around the track. But the good thing is we have a couple of drivers who seem to thrive in that sort of environment. We hope to have a competitive car for both guys so they can have a run at winning this thing. For goodness sake, we're due, aren't we?"


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Kenny Brack , Mo Nunn
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing