Tony Kanaan christened his brand new ...
Tony Kanaan christened his brand new #10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Lola with a top-10 practice time in today's afternoon session at the Milwaukee Mile in preparation for Sunday's Miller Lite 250 CART FedEx Championship Series event. Kanaan, who had driven Reynard chassis during his first two-plus seasons with Mo Nunn Racing, has switched to Lola for the remainder of the 2002 season. He turned 41 laps in this afternoon's 75-minute practice session around the mile oval here at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds with a fast lap of 22.807 seconds (162.897 mph). It was the 10th-fastest lap of the afternoon and the 12th-fastest lap of the day when combining today's morning and afternoon sessions. This morning's session was the first time the new Honda-powered Lola had turned a wheel. The team took delivery of the car on May 6 while in the midst of preparing Kanaan's #17 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Chevrolet G-Force for last weekend's Indianapolis 500. Kanaan was the fastest rookie qualifier for that event, starting fifth on the grid, and led 23 laps before retiring on Lap 89 after spinning in fellow CART regular Bruno Junqueira's oil and making heavy contact with the wall. Kanaan's teammate Felipe Giaffone and the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Chevrolet G-Force finished third at Indy.
Adrian Fernandez had today's fastest practice lap here at Milwaukee, a 22.021-second (168.712-mph) effort in this afternoon's session. The morning times of Kenny Brack (22.535/164.864 mph) and Mario Dominguez (22.586/164.491 mph) were second- and third-fastest on the day, respectively.
Practice resumes at 9:30 a.m. local time (10:30 a.m. EDT) Saturday with qualifying set for 1:45 p.m. local time (2:45 p.m. EDT). Speed Channel will carry qualifying live with a 90-minute show beginning at 2 p.m. EDT. Race time Sunday is 11:30 a.m. local time (12:30 p.m. EDT) with CBS providing its first of six CART telecasts this season live.
"I think we have to be satisfied with the laps we got in today. You can't hope in your wildest dreams for everything to be perfect on your very first day with a brand new car. This was like a public shakedown test for us. We had some problems in the morning session and got in just six laps, altogether. But we got things straightened out for the afternoon session and made some good progress. Now, if we can make that much progress again between now and qualifying tomorrow, we should be right up there with the leaders. But, all in all, you have to be realistic. It was a long day and a frustrating day, in a lot of ways, but we persevered. You really have to give all my guys on the Pioneer-WorldCom team a big pat on the back because they've been busting their you-know-what all month long to get us changed over from Reynard to Lola in time for this race. It really wasn't an easy thing to do because the whole time we were working hard on my IRL car for the Indy 500, and they did a remarkable job there, too. They've been having to work twice as hard as usual for a very long stretch, and that's definitely not easy to do. Thanks to them, we're off and running with our new Lola."