Alex Zanardi and the ...
Alex Zanardi and the #66 Pioneer-WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard will start Sunday's Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland on the inside of the seventh row after his qualifying lap of 58.570 seconds (129.445 mph) around the 2.106-mile Burke Lakefront Airport temporary road course. Zanardi's time was 13th-fastest in the first of two qualifying groups today, which included primarily those drivers in the bottom half of the points standings entering the weekend. The rain-soaked second qualifying session saw no drivers beat their counterparts from the first group, who ran entirely in the dry.
Mo Nunn Racing teammate Tony Kanaan and the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Honda-Reynard, who also qualified in the first group for the first time since the season-opener in Monterrey, Mexico, will start on the outside of the third row. Kanaan's best lap was clocked at 57.936 seconds (130.862 mph), good enough for sixth among the 13 cars in the group. Mauricio Gugelmin, the fastest qualifier in the first group, scored his fourth career pole and first since 1997. His time was 57.356 seconds (132.185 mph). Adrian Fernandez was second at 57.517 seconds (131.815 mph), and Max Wilson was third in 57.892 seconds (130.961 mph).
Race time Sunday is 1 p.m. EDT with a live broadcast set for ABC-TV. The Sunday-morning CART2DAY warm-up show will be shown on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. EDT.
"I think a ladybug flew into my house today. That's what we say in Italy when we encounter a little bit of luck. When I finished my session in not so good of a position, I was wondering where my luck was. All of a sudden it started to rain. It's nice to have a little bit of good fortune once in a while. But I hope my engineers can find what it's going to take to keep us where we are in the order and allow us to be competitive. I feel bad for the guys in the fast group. But these things happen to all of us. It's going to be a very interesting race. I'm pumped, actually, to be racing here where I had one of my most memorable weekends in my career. (Zanardi drove from the back of the pack to victory in the 1997 race here, his first of two victories in a row.) We are certainly in a good starting position, all things considered."