CHAMPCAR/CART: Monterrey Tony Kanaan Saturday qualifying report

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#55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard
Tecate/Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix – Qualifying Notes-Quotes – Sat., March 10
Parque Fundidora – Monterrey, Mexico – 2.1-Mile Road Course
Round 1 of 21 on the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series

Tony Kanaan and the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard will start the season-opening Tecate/Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix on Sunday from the outside-sixth-row position. His time of 1 minute, 16.647 seconds (an average of 98.822 mph) around the 2.1-mile road course in Monterrey’s scenic Fundidora Park was fastest during today’s first 30-minute qualifying session. He fell back to 12th overall after the second qualifying group took its turn. Despite setting a top-eight practice time Friday, and posting the fourth-best time in practice Saturday morning, Kanaan was relegated to the first qualifying group before the weekend even began. Qualifying groups this weekend were predetermined by CART based on last year’s season-ending point standings. Kanaan ended up 19th last year and was grouped with drivers from the lower half of the final order.

Kanaan’s teammate Alex Zanardi and the #66 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard will start 22nd. A mechanical problem in the closing minutes of this morning’s practice session forced Zanardi to qualify his back-up car. Kenny Brack, last year’s series Rookie of the Year, earned his first career pole with a time of 1:15.244 (100.665 mph). Cristiano da Matta qualified second in 1:15.439 (100.404 mph) with defending series champion Gil de Ferran third at 1:15.557 (100.255 mph).

Race time Sunday is 3 p.m. local time (4 p.m. ET) with a live broadcast set for ABC-TV. The Sunday morning warm-up show CART2DAY will be broadcast at 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2. Today’s qualifying show will be shown by ESPN2 on a tape-delayed basis at 3 a.m. ET.

TONY KANAAN

“It was a dogfight out there in the qualifying session. There was a lot of traffic. A lot of people trying really hard. And a lot of people going off (the track). Considering the situation, I did everything I could. I can’t be any better than the fastest car in my group. That’s the penalty I have to pay for finishing 19th in the points last year. The track is feeling better and better all the time. I felt helpless watching the second session and seeing my name dropping down in the order. Our session was the fastest 30 minutes of my life, and the second group got the longest 30 minutes I’ve ever seen. That’s okay. I was hoping for a top-10 or a top-12. I feel I have a top-four car, which we showed everybody in practice this morning. It’s going to be tough to pass in the race, at least in the beginning. When we finally have good grip, this track will be awesome. There will be plenty of places to pass. But when it’s dirty, there are plenty of places to have accidents. The key will be to run a patient race and see what comes to us. I love the crowd here. They are so into it. I can’t wait till tomorrow. The atmosphere here is great.”

- Mo Nunn Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Alex Zanardi , Tony Kanaan , Kenny Brack , Mo Nunn