Tony Kanaan and his ...
Tony Kanaan and his #10 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Lola had to call it a day 61 laps into today's scheduled 112-lap Molson Indy Toronto CART FedEx Championship Series event due to a yet-to-be-determined mechanical or electrical problem. Kanaan, who started 10th on the grid today, coasted to a stop at the end of the front straight just six laps after pitting for the second time for tires and fuel, and could not restart the car. It was his first DNF since the June 2 event in Milwaukee, four races ago. From his 10th starting position, Kanaan picked up two spots on the very first green-flag lap, but settled into ninth for most of his first fuel-and-tire run. He was eighth when he made his first stop on Lap 34 and re-emerged in 11th, behind three cars that had pitted out of sequence. Kanaan passed Townsend Bell, one of the cars out of sequence ahead of him, for 10th place on Lap 45. He them reclaimed the eighth spot when the other two out-of-sequence cars of Tora Takagi and Dario Franchitti pitted on Laps 49 and 52, respectively. The team then made the strategic decision with Kanaan to pit out of sequence, so he was called in for his second stop on Lap 55, 13 laps shy of the end of the second mandatory pit stop window.
Polesitter Cristiano da Matta won his fourth consecutive race today, tying the CART record for consecutive race wins set by Alex Zanardi and Al Unser, Jr. Kenny Brack finished second with da Matta's teammate, Christian Fittipaldi, finishing third. Zanardi, the two-time series champion and teammate to Kanaan at Mo NunnRacing last year, attended his first racing event here this weekend since his accident last September at the American Memorial in Germany.
The next event on the schedule is the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland, Presented by Firstar, on the Burke Lakefront Airport temporary street course near downtown Cleveland, Ohio. It will be Round 9 of this year's 20-event CART calendar.
TONY KANAAN QUOTES
"I have no idea what happened. We just came in for our second stop and I was just settling into my run when the car just cut out as I was going down the front straight. To play it safe, I parked it in the runoff at the end of the straight, and we called it a day. It wasn't going to start again. I don't know if it was a mechanical problem or an electrical problem or what. It's been a very, very frustrating year. But you know, all we can do is to pull ourselves together and go to the next one. That's all there is to do, or else you better quit this business. It was just a treat to have Alex back here with us this weekend. It was a real emotional lift for me, for our team, and I think everybody in the CART paddock, and even racing fans all around the world. He waved the green flag and the checkered flag today, which was special for him. I could see after I got out of the car that he was having a great time. I'm going to give him the helmet I wore this weekend as a present. It has my design on the left side and his design on the right side. I would have loved to have won this race with him waving the checkered flag for me. And I would have loved doing some Zanardi-style doughnuts to celebrate. But it wasn't meant to be. Anyway, it's a one-of-a-kind helmet, just like Alex is truly a one-of-a-kind guy!"