Qualifying 1: Kanaan quickest

Almost half of the Champ Car field resides in Miami, so there wasn't much of a home field advantage to be gained for anyone. Local resident Tony Kanaan toured the track several times in the weeks leading up to this weekend's Grand Prix of the Americas, and he used the experience to emerge from Friday's action as the overnight pole man.

Qualifying 1: Kanaan quickest

Kanaan's 61.264-second (81.603 mph) lap guaranteed him a front row start for Sunday's race even if he doesn't turn a wheel in final qualifying. The Brazilian's best starting position this year was second.

"When I walked the track, I knew it would be a lot like Denver," Kanaan said. "We put the Denver set-up on the car, and apart from a few adjustments, it was perfect. Then it was just a matter of putting together a good lap."

Kanaan's closest pursuer was practice pacesetter Scott Dixon. The 21-year-old improved his morning time by a tenth to 61.444s, but he was 0.18s off Kanaan's time despite a couple of brushes with the walls.

"I think everybody hits the wall once or twice during qualifying at a street course," Dixon said. "But I just bounced off and kept going."

Third went to Tora Takagi, who got his Walker Reynard-Toyota working well over the bumps.

"We struggle on bumpy circuits, so I hope I stay in the top five tomorrow," Takagi remarked. "Track conditions were worse this afternoon - the circuit was really breaking up in Turns 4, 5 and 6."

Kenny Brack, Alex Tagliani and CART championship leader Cristiano da Matta rounded off the top six, while Rockingham winner Dario Franchitti was seventh in his Lola-Honda.

"We improved the car from practice but I never got a clear lap in," noted Franchitti, who clocked a 62.369-second lap. "The track actually lost grip from this morning, if that's possible. It's like ice out there."

The track problems were exacerbated by a 42-car ALMS field and a brace of heavy Trans-Am machines. Organisers may try to fix the problem area with quick-drying concrete patches overnight.

The marbles off-line contributed to the only accident of the session. Adrian Fernandez clipped a wall with his left front wheel before ploughing into another barrier with the right side of his Lola-Honda. He wound up ninth fastest.

"I've never seen the problem this bad," the Mexican said of the crumbling surface. "I think it's a combination of rubber from the other series. The marbles are very small, very fine, and if you get off-line you're gone."

Others to encounter trouble in Friday qualifying included Michael Andretti, who locked up his brakes and stuffed his Lola-Honda into a tyre wall on his out lap. He managed 14th place in his spare, two spots ahead of his team-mate Paul Tracy, who was another driver to spin during qualifying.

Tony Kanaan Lola Honda 1m01.264s
Scott Dixon Lola-Toyota 1m01.444s
Tora Takagi Reynard-Toyota 1m02.039s
Kenny Brack Lola-Toyota 1m02.165s
Alex Tagliani Reynard-Cosworth 1m02.304s
Cristiano da Matta Lola-Toyota 1m02.348s
Dario Franchitti Lola-Honda 1m02.369s
Christian Fittipaldi Lola-Toyota 1m02.523s
Adrian Fernandez Lola-Honda 1m02.543s
Bruno Junqueira Lola-Toyota 1m02.607s
Shinji Nakano Lola-Honda 1m02.750s
Jimmy Vasser Lola-Cosworth 1m02.860s
Oriol Servia Reynard-Toyota 1m02.891s
Michael Andretti Lola-Honda 1m03.052s
Michel Jourdain Jr Lola-Cosworth 1m03.055s
Paul Tracy Lola-Honda 1m03.134s
Patrick Carpentier Reynard-Cosworth 1m04.135s
Mario Dominguez Lola-Cosworth 1m04.326s

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Practice 1: Dixon leads slow session

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