Tony Kanaan drove the ...
Tony Kanaan drove the #10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard to the 13th-fastest lap of this afternoon's provisional qualifying session for Sunday's Tecate/Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey.
Friday qualifying returned to the CART FedEx Championship Series with this weekend's season opener, and under a Formula 1-style format used for the first time in this series. All competitors take part in 60-minute provisional (Friday) and final (Saturday) qualifying sessions and are limited to 15 laps and two sets of tires in each session. One championship point is awarded to the fastest qualifier each day, and Friday's fast qualifier is guaranteed a spot on the starting grid no worse than second.
Kanaan took to the track today 17 minutes into the 60-minute session and quickly established a spot in the top three during his first eight laps before returning to the pits. When he returned, with some 20 minutes remaining, Kanaan, then in seventh position, attempting to regain a spot among the leaders. He exhausted his allotted 15 laps with some three minutes to go and ended up 13th. His best lap around the 2.1-mile temporary road course around Monterrey's Fundidora Park was 1 minute, 19.985 seconds (94.698 mph). Local favorite Adrian Fernandez earned the provisional pole in 1:18.929 (95.965 mph), followed in the order by Dario Franchitti at 1:19.202 (95.634 mph) and Alex Tagliani at 1:19.241 (95.587 mph).
Final qualifying is set for 1:45 p.m. CST (2:45 p.m. EST) Saturday, preceded by a 75-minute practice session that begins at 10 a.m. local time. Today's qualifying action can be viewed on Speed Channel beginning at 9 p.m. EST. Race time Sunday is 3 p.m CST (4 p.m. EST) with a live broadcast set for Speed Channel.
"We intended to go out early and lay down a fast lap. We didn't necessarily intend to run so many laps in that first run. But the car was doing well. It was fairly balanced. We might have gone back out for the second run a little too soon, but those are the chances you take. Just like last year, the track gets better each and every lap, so it would have made a big difference to have a couple of more laps at the end of the session. But we' ll be alright on Saturday. I love this qualifying format. This is what racing is all about."