Nakano shines in Montreal return. Shinji Nakano, one of the handful of CART drivers with previous Montreal experience, led the Honda-powered contingent today in first-round qualifying for Sunday's Molson Indy Montreal, the inaugural appearance...
Nakano shines in Montreal return.
Shinji Nakano, one of the handful of CART drivers with previous Montreal experience, led the Honda-powered contingent today in first-round qualifying for Sunday's Molson Indy Montreal, the inaugural appearance of the CART FedEx Championship Series at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
A veteran of Formula One competition prior to coming to CART, Nakano previously raced at the Villeneuve circuit finishing sixth in 1997 and seventh the following year. Other CART drivers with F-1 experience here - the only circuit currently used by both racing series - include Tora Takagi and Christian Fittipaldi. Jimmy Vasser, Alex Tagliani, Patrick Carpentier and Paul Tracy all raced here previously in Formula Atlantic.
Dario Franchitti and Michael Andretti were unable to find a clear lap in traffic, while unrelated transmission problems blunted the efforts of both Paul Tracy, who missed the entire second half of qualifying, and Tony Kanaan. Adrian Fernandez struggled with difficult handling aboard his Lola-Honda throughout the session.
Saturday's final qualifying takes place at 1:45 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the Speed Channel network.
Shinji Nakano (#52 Twin Ring Motegi/Fernandez Racing Honda) Qualified 7th:
" This is for sure a good way for us to start the weekend. On my fastest lap I had to back off a little because of traffic, otherwise I think we could have stayed third or fourth. This morning we had a mechanical problem, which ended our practice a bit early. But the Fernandez team did a great job getting the car fixed and ready for qualifying. Our job for tonight is to go back and find all the small spots where we're losing time so that we can do our best to gain some time tomorrow."