Tony Kanaan brought the ...
Tony Kanaan brought the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard home in seventh place during today’s Grand Prix of Long Beach on the seaside temporary street course overlooking Long Beach Harbor. It was Kanaan’s second consecutive seventh-place finish, equaling his best effort for the second-year Mo Nunn Racing team. He started third on the grid, was beaten to the first turn of the race by Cristiano da Matta, and held down the fourth position until third-place-finishing and defending series champion Gil de Ferran passed him on Lap 15. He remained in fifth until his second and final pit stop of the day during a caution period on Lap 55, when teammates Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti beat him out of the pits.
Kanaan’s teammate Alex Zanardi and the #66 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard were forced to retire on Lap 28 with overheating problems. Zanardi was hit by Bruno Junqueira several laps earlier and damaged the car’s cooling system and right rear suspension. Polesitter Helio Castroneves led every lap and took his fourth career win today, followed by da Matta in second and de Ferran in third.
The series resumes in three weeks with the Firestone Firehawk 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, Round Three of the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series on April 27-29.
“Our day got kind of upside-down when we didn’t get to run the warm-up this morning (due to an oil leak), and that cost us in the race. I was forced to guess on setup for the race, which was difficult because we’re coming off of a wet day of practice and qualifying yesterday. The car wasn’t quite right, and we made some adjustments during the race, but we sure could have used the warm-up session. We took the engine out after the warm-up to check everything out, solved the problem, and put it back. With no warm-up, we were also out there bedding the brakes during the pace laps, and I started on new tires. Oh well. The way the day went, I guess I’m happy with seventh place. I seem to be stuck on seven, which isn’t the worst thing in the world as far as the championship goes. We got points. We know our mistakes, and we can go away and correct them before we get to Texas. Our day will come.”
-Mo Nunn Racing