#10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard
It was a rough outing for Tony Kanaan and the #10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard in today's 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series season-opening Tecate/Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey. Kanaan quickly moved from his 13th starting position to ninth on the opening lap. But a misfire forced him to pit on Lap 8 for a new "black box" (electronic control unit), and he rejoined the race two laps down and out of contention. Then, on Lap 77 of today's 85-lap event around the 2.1-mile temporary road course at Fundidora Park, Kanaan made contact with Tora Takagi entering Turn 1. He made it back around to the pits after a bump start from CART officials, but the damage was too much to allow him to continue. It was Kanaan's first DNF in his last 11 starts, dating back to the Michigan 500 last July.
The next stop on the 2002 CART tour is April 14 for the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Mo Nunn Racing next takes to the track the next two weekends for consecutive Indy Racing League events at Phoenix (March 17) and Fontana (March 24), with Felipe Giaffone and the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Chevrolet G-Force.
"You hate to leave the opening race of the season without any points. That' s a tough way to start the year. That's why we were determined to continue even though the electrical problem early in the race put us two laps down. You just never know what's going to happen out there. We ran pretty competitive laps from then on. I was following (Tora) Takagi for quite a long time, and toward the end of the race I had a chance to get by him. I had an opening heading into Turn 1, but then he closed the door on me at the last second. We touched, and that was it. He was still in the points (in 12th place) and he had no business racing with me like he was during that stretch because I was three laps down by then. There are two things that can happen in that situation ... he can let you by, or he can close the door on you. He decided to close the door on me, and not only took me out, but took himself out of the points. But that's the way it is, sometimes, and it's a very unfortunate thing."