SURFERS PARADISE, Queensland, AustraliaÂ (Saturday, Oct. 26, 2002) -- Tony Kanaan and the ...
SURFERS PARADISE, Queensland, Australia (Saturday, Oct. 26, 2002) -- Tony Kanaan and the #10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Lola will start Sunday's Honda Indy 300 from the inside of the second row after final qualifying today on the streets of Surfers Paradise. Kanaan turned the third-fastest lap of the weekend at 1 minute, 30.427 seconds (111.272 mph) for his third top-three starting spot of the season and second in a row. He improved almost two full seconds over Friday's first-round qualifying time on the 2.795-mile temporary beachside circuit in the heart of Australia's Gold Coast, which was good enough for fifth on the provisional starting grid. Kanaan started from the pole three weekends ago at the last CART FedEx Championship Series event in Miami, Fla., and he started second at Japan's Twin Ring Motegi last April.
Cristiano da Matta, who already clinched the series championship at Miami earlier this month, stole the top spot away today from provisional polesitter Bruno Junqueira with a fast lap of 1:30.204 (111.547 mph). Junqueira had to settle for the outside-front-row starting spot after his lap today of 1:30.214 (111.535 mph).
TONY KANAAN QUOTES
"I have to say thanks to my engineer Iain (Watt) because this one is definitely his doing. We made a lot of changes since yesterday and they all turned out to be excellent decisions. The car was very consistent and that is probably the most important thing to have in your car this weekend. Yesterday, we had a very good car, too, but we just never got the right lap at the right time because of all those incidents. The big key for tomorrow will be to have a consistent car that is comfortable and can go all the way. It's going to be hot --not as bad as it was in Miami, because that was about the worst heat and humidity we've had. But it's going to be hot. And the track is very bumpy, and you use all the curbs. So your car has to be able to take a beating and make it to the end, and a consistent car is more likely to see the driver last to the end of the race than if the car isn't right."
Race time Sunday is 2 p.m. local time (midnight EDT Sunday morning) with SPEED TV set to carry all the action live beginning with an 11:30 p.m. EDT Saturday pre-race show.