Kanaan and Dixon hold top Miami CART slots. Eight of top ten qualifiers ride with Lola cars. A quick lap around the brand, new 16-turn 1.387-mile Grand Prix Americas street course in downtown Miami turned out to be a difficult affair on a sunny,...
Kanaan and Dixon hold top Miami CART slots.
Eight of top ten qualifiers ride with Lola cars.
A quick lap around the brand, new 16-turn 1.387-mile Grand Prix Americas street course in downtown Miami turned out to be a difficult affair on a sunny, sauna-like Friday. Air temps ranged from 87-90, while the track had 117-122-degree temperatures during time trials. Miami resident Tony Kanaan managed the fastest tour of the circuit in his #10 Pioneer/WorldCom Lola/Honda at 61.264 seconds (81.503mph). Scott Dixon took second in the #44 Target Lola/Toyota at 61.444 seconds (81.264mph), .180 seconds behind Kanaan. Third went to Toranosuke Takagi's #5 Pioneer/Denso Reynard/Toyota. Sixteen of eighteen drivers qualified within one second.
Kanaan set his quick lap 10 minutes into the session, between the three red flags that would halt qualifying. "I went out right away (after Michael Andretti caused the first stoppage) and did my laps right there. The grip level is so low, like Denver, but we had a good baseline to start with and, when you have a good car, you just drive it," Kanaan noted. Dixon, whose face was the same color as his Target red uniform after qualifying, said "the track is not too difficult to drive, but it's so hot out there. It's kind of a strange track and turns 4-6 are already breaking up. If the track holds up, we should have a pretty good race," Again, much like Denver.
Teammate Kenny Brack secured 4th place with his tour of 62.165 seconds (80.322mph) in the #12 Target Lola/Toyota, saying "the new sealer caused some marbles out there, but we're pretty happy." Cristiano da Matta was 6th in the #6 Chevron Lola/Toyota, looking to wrap up the season title at his home track with a lap of 62.348 seconds (80.086mph). Da Matta led a Lola freight train through to tenth place. Dario Franchitti in the #27 Team KOOL Green Lola/Honda was 7th with his 62.369-second lap (80.059mph). Christian Fittipaldi, second in morning practice behind Dixon, took 8th in the #11 Lilly Lola/Toyota, at 62.523sec/79.862mph. Despite causing the second red flag in his #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Lola/Honda, Adrian Fernandez retained 9th place with a second-best lap of 62.543sec/79.836mph. Bruno Junqueira took 10th in the #4 Target Lola/Toyota, admitting the team improved his car from practice, just not quite enough, at 62.607sec/79.755mph
Similar conditions are expected for Saturday's final qualifying, which takes place between 1:15-2:15pm EDT and will be shown live on Speed Channel.