Kanaan on pole after Pikes Peak qualifying washout FOUNTAIN, Colo. Saturday, June 14, 2003 -- IRL IndyCarTM Series points leader Tony Kanaan will start on the pole for the Honda Indy 225 after MBNA Pole Qualifying was canceled due to rain June...
Kanaan on pole after Pikes Peak qualifying washout
FOUNTAIN, Colo. Saturday, June 14, 2003 -- IRL IndyCarTM Series points leader Tony Kanaan will start on the pole for the Honda Indy 225 after MBNA Pole Qualifying was canceled due to rain June 14 at Pikes Peak International Raceway.
The Honda Indy 225 is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. (EDT) June 15 at PPIR. ABC and the IMS Radio Network will broadcast the race live.
The starting lineup was determined by practice speeds from the two practice sessions conducted earlier in the day. The driver's best lap of the day determined the starting position.
Kanaan was awarded the pole based on the lap of 19.9743 seconds, 180.232 mph that he turned during the second practice session in the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Today was the first time that Kanaan had driven on the 1-mile oval.
Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will start second based on his top lap of 20.0222, 179.800 in the second practice in the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone.
"I was able to have a good day," Kanaan said. "It really reminded me of my Indy Lights times with Helio (Castroneves). We used to get in places that we had never seen before, and we were trying to beat each other so bad. It didn't matter if we were learning the car or learning the track, we just wanted to go fast. And that's basically what happened this morning with me."
Although Kanaan's lap was faster than the track record of 20.014, 179.874 set during MBNA Pole Qualifying by Greg Ray on June 17, 2000, Kanaan's lap is not a track record because the lap did not come during an official qualifying session or race.
"This place is not easy at all," Kanaan said. "It's a mile oval, and it's very fast. There are some bumps that can trick you. I almost got caught in my first outing. I went sideways big time out of Turn 1. That's the price you pay not knowing the track and trying to be too anxious to try to make the lap time."
The rainout marked the second time this season that MBNA Pole Qualifying has been rained out. Qualifying was also canceled in April at Twin Ring Motegi.
"It's a little bit disappointing, but it's not the end of the world," Castroneves said. "Qualifying is one of those precious times that you don't look for saving fuel or saving tires: You're just thinking about speed, how fast you actually can go. Obviously, the race is tomorrow, and the points that count is tomorrow."
Felipe Giaffone will start third in his No. 21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone while defending race winner and 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran will line up fourth in his No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone.
Other former Pikes Peak winners in the field include Kenny Brack, who will start eighth in the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Dallara/Honda/Firestone; Ray, who will start 12th in the No. 13 TrimSpa Racing Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone; and Buddy Lazier, who will start 17th in the No. 91 Victory Brand/Delta Faucet/Life Fitness Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone.