Defending polesitter Tony Kanaan qualified his Mercedes-powered Mo Nunn Racing/Hollywood Champ Car 10th on the starting grid at Friday's provisional qualifying for Sunday's Grand Prix of Long Beach, round three of the CART FedEx Championship...
Defending polesitter Tony Kanaan qualified his Mercedes-powered Mo Nunn Racing/Hollywood Champ Car 10th on the starting grid at Friday's provisional qualifying for Sunday's Grand Prix of Long Beach, round three of the CART FedEx Championship Series. Final qualifying for the first street circuit of the season will be held Saturday.
Meanwhile, Adrian Fernandez holds the provisional pole with his lap of the 1.968-mile circuit in 68.636 seconds (103.223 mph).
Two Mercedes drivers were among the four quickest in the morning practice session. Kanaan, fourth quickest in the morning, posted a qualifying lap of 69.194 seconds (102.390 mph) in the afternoon session. The Brazilian driver's efforts to top the time sheets with a hot lap on fresh tires at the end of the session were stymied by a red flag in the final minutes caused by Dario Franchitti's single-car incident.
Nextel Mercedes driver Mauricio Gugelmin posted a lap of 69.644 seconds (101.729 mph). Teammate Mark Blundell, second-quickest in the morning, could not improve on that performance and his Motorola Mercedes wound up 18th on the provisional grid (69.852 seconds/101.426 mph).
Michel Jourdain Jr. and the Bettenhausen Motorsports Herdez Mercedes team qualified 22nd (71.014 seconds/99.766 mph), while Luiz Garcia Jr. qualified 24th with a lap in 73.178 seconds (96.816 mph) in his Arciero Project Racing Group/Hollywood Mercedes.
Tony Kanaan, No. 55, Mo Nunn Racing Hollywood Mercedes/Firestone (10th/69.194 seconds)
"The car was good this morning, but we made some changes and we had too much understeer. It took us a while to change the car back. I couldn't run my second set of tires, but you can't control these things. The good news is that the car is consistent."
Mauricio Gugelmin, No. 17, PacWest Nextel Mercedes/Firestone (17th/69.644 seconds)
"I struggled with push today. We really lost a lot of time working on several things and it was not a very good day at all. We certainly need to make some big improvements overnight, and get our act together for final qualifying tomorrow. Let's hope the weather stays fine."
Mark Blundell, No. 18, PacWest Motorola Mercedes/Firestone (18th/69.852 seconds)
"Unfortunately, we didn't capitalize on what we got this morning. We didn't get the tire pressures right, and the car was difficult to handle in the afternoon. I'm happy with the way the Mercedes engine performed right out of the box. We've made some big gains in a short amount of time, so it's encouraging. This afternoon was not a reflection of what we've got underneath us. We've just got to put our heads down and make things happen tomorrow."
Michel Jourdain Jr., No. 16, Bettenhausen Herdez Mercedes/Firestone (22nd/71.014 seconds)
"The team is working really hard. We need more rear grip, so we will make some changes to try to improve. The engine was very, very good today. We have made some big steps and I am happy."
<pre> Provisional Qualifying, Grand Prix of Long Beach Long Beach, Calif. April 14, 2000
Pos. Driver Engine Time Speed 1 Adrian Fernandez Ford Cosworth 68.636 103.223 2 Gil de Ferran Honda 68.643 103.212 3 Max Papis Ford Cosworth 68.698 103.130 4 Roberto Moreno Ford Cosworth 68.848 102.905 5 Jimmy Vasser Toyota 68.969 102.724 6 Dario Franchitti Honda 69.009 102.665 7 Helio Castro-Neves Honda 69.057 102.594 8 Juan Montoya Toyota 69.087 102.549 9 Bryan Herta Honda 69.157 102.445 10 Tony Kanaan Mercedes-Benz 69.194 102.390 17 Mauricio Gugelmin Mercedes-Benz 69.644 101.729 18 Mark Blundell Mercedes-Benz 69.852 101.426 22 Michel Jourdain Jr. Mercedes-Benz 71.014 99.766 24 Luiz Garcia Jr. Mercedes-Benz 73.178 96.816