Castroneves fastest in warm-up

Helio Castroneves set the pace for Marlboro Team Penske in the morning warm-up at Houston

Castroneves fastest in warm-up

The Brazilian, who will start this afternoon's race from the outside of row two, was quickest by nearly 0.3s from Tony Kanaan. The Mo Nunn Racing driver has qualified tenth and the team is confident of a strong showing in the race.

Polesitter Gil de Ferran completed an all-Brazilian top three sweep by taking third for Penske, ahead of Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy and surprise star Shinji Nakano, the latter showing a hitherto unseen turn of pace in Walker Racing's Reynard-Honda.

The Ganassi duo of Juan Montoya and Jimmy Vasser were next up, with front row starter Dario Franchitti, Team Rahal's Kenny Brack and Forsythe's Patrick Carpentier completing the top ten.

Several drivers made repeat visits to the street track's escape roads during the session, among them Kanaan, Montoya and Alex Tagliani, while both Mauricio Gugelmin and Max Papis made light and harmless contact with the barriers.

In more serious trouble was Michael Andretti, who lost time due to both an engine problem and a fire on his Newman-Haas Lola. The American was only 21st on the timesheets. He fared better than Della Penna's Memo Gidley though, as the latter failed to set a time after stopping on course with a mechanical problem as he began his first flying lap.

The Texaco Havoline Grand Prix of Houston begins at 9pm UK time. Autosport.com will attempt to bring you full live lap-by-lap coverage of the event and a full race report immediately after the chequered flag falls.



1 Helio Castroneves Penske Reynard-Honda 1m01.025s
2 Tony Kanaan Mo Nunn Reynard-Mercedes 1m01.313s
3 Gil de Ferran Penske Reynard-Honda 1m01.354s
4 Paul Tracy Green Reynard-Honda 1m01.390s
5 Shinji Nakano Walker Reynard-Honda 1m01.596s
6 Juan Montoya Ganassi Lola-Toyota 1m01.614s
7 Jimmy Vasser Ganassi Lola-Toyota 1m01.772s
8 Dario Franchitti Green Reynard-Honda 1m01.861s
9 Kenny Brack Rahal Reynard-Ford 1m01.923s
10 Patrick Carpentier Forsythe Reynard-Ford 1m01.929s
11 Oriol Servia PPI Reynard-Toyota 1m01.956s
12 Max Papis Rahal Reynard-Ford 1m01.962s
13 Christian Fittipaldi Newman-Haas Lola-Ford 1m01.997s
14 Cristiano da Matta PPI Reynard-Toyota 1m02.065s
15 Mark Blundell PacWest Reynard-Mercedes 1m02.107s
16 Roberto Moreno Patrick Reynard-Ford 1m02.142s
17 Mauricio Gugelmin PacWest Reynard-Mercedes 1m02.768s
18 Adrian Fernandez Patrick Reynard-Ford 1m02.852s
19 Alex Tagliani Forsythe Reynard-Ford 1m02.919s
20 Tarso Marques Coyne Swift-Ford 1m03.225s
21 Michael Andretti Newman-Haas Lola-Ford 1m03.445s
22 Luiz Garcia Jr Arciero PRG Reynard-Mercedes 1m03.777s
23 Michel Jourdain Jr Bettenhausen Lola-Mercedes 1m03.840s
24 Alex Barron Coyne Lola-Ford 1m04.030s
25 Memo Gidley Della Penna Reynard-Toyota no time

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De Ferran takes pole in Houston
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