MONTREAL (Friday, Aug. 23, 2002) -- Tony Kanaan and the ...
MONTREAL (Friday, Aug. 23, 2002) -- Tony Kanaan and the #10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Lola sit on the inside of the seventh row on the provisional starting grid for Sunday's inaugural Molson Indy Montreal after first-round qualifying today. Kanaan had to go to his back-up car to turn a fast lap of 1 minute, 20.788 seconds (120.716 mph) over the 2.747-mile Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. An exhaust header fire took Kanaan's primary car out of the picture today during a new free practice session instituted by CART for the first time this weekend at the outset of qualifying. Beginning this weekend, all 60-minute road course qualifying sessions begin with 15 minutes of free practice, followed by a 10-minute break, and then 35 minutes of guaranteed green-flag qualifying during which competitors can run a maximum of two sets of tires and 15 qualifying laps. Kanaan's problems with the primary car occurred after just four laps of free practice. The team quickly wheeled out his back-up car, and it managed the 13th-fastest time of the session.
Cristiano da Matta earned the provisional pole with a lap of 1:19.465 (122.726 mph), and he is joined on the provisional front row by Scott Dixon, who turned a lap of 1:19.255 (122.279 mph). Kenny Brack qualified third at 1:19.873 (122.099 mph). They were the only three to crack the 1-minute, 20-second barrier today.
Practice continues Saturday morning with final qualifying set for 1:45 p.m. EDT. SPEED Channel will carry the qualifying session live during a 90-minute broadcast that begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT. Race time Sunday is 2 p.m. EDT with a live broadcast set for SPEED Channel.
TONY KANAAN QUOTES
"Thank goodness for the new qualifying format, or else it would have been deja vu all over again. If this was still last week, which it felt like for a moment there, it would have been a lot worse for us. But we had a chance to get our back-up car out there in plenty of time and make sure everything was right, and we did okay. My car is way better than where we qualified, so far. I feel good about that. I ran into traffic on my first set of tires. And then on my best lap on our second set of tires, my gearbox got a little stuck as I was downshifting coming into the last chicane and that cost us some valuable time. I think we might have ended up about sixth with that lap. But we're okay. My car's not perfect, so I know we can find a lot more speed. I love this track. I've always wanted to drive here, and today I got my chance. The grip just keeps getting better every lap. It looks right now like we might have a tough time passing cars out there on Sunday. But we'll see if that changes as the track improves."