Qualifying 2: Rain hands Kanaan pole

The challenges thrown at the competitors at the Grand Prix of the Americas in Miami intensified Saturday afternoon as Mother Nature made local weather forecasters look foolish with a series of mid-day showers.

Qualifying 2: Rain hands Kanaan pole

The unexpected wet weather caused Trans-Am qualifying to be cancelled and forced the Champ Cars to run their final qualifications on a wet track. No one therefore approached Tony Kanaan's Friday time of 61.284 seconds, handing the Brazilian his first pole of the 2002 season and the third of his CART career. However, Scott Dixon claimed the championship point on offer for setting the fastest time of the day at 69.786 seconds. But the New Zealander will start Sunday's 105-lap contest from second, where he qualified Friday.

Kanaan didn't even venture out in a session that started with a soaked track that rapidly dried in most parts. But the drivers could never switch to slicks because of a steady stream of water crossing the track at Turn 6.

"I wanted to go out, but Morris Nunn convinced me not to," Kanaan said. "That was a smart decision. But if anyone had come close to my time on wet tyres, I would stay at home tomorrow!

'The race will be a good battle between Scott and myself, and some of the guys at the back will be using strategy to try to get up front with us," he added.

Kanaan's 81.503-mph pole lap is the third slowest in CART's 23-year history.

Dixon was comfortably fastest in Saturday's session, but the slower conditions kept him from getting within eight seconds of Friday's times.

"We used the same set of wets throughout the session and I think that helped us," he said. "The newer wets tended to chunk quite badly on the dry section of the track, whereas the ones with a lot of laps on them stayed very consistent.

"But it was very slippery, especially in the 4-5-6 section," Dixon continued. "Every lap I had a couple of moments. I think a three-hour sports car track will sort it out. Actually, I think they're going to destroy that track."

The remainder of the grid is also exactly as it was after the Friday session, with Tora Takagi and Kenny Brack on row two and Alex Tagliani and Cristiano da Matta on the third row. The rain was particularly harsh for 2002 race winners Michael Andretti, Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier, all of whom find themselves near the back of the grid.

Pit stops will play a smaller role in Sunday's 105-lap race because the window is fairly large. Drivers will be required to pit every 42 laps, meaning most will complete the race with only two pit stops.

Tony Kanaan Lola Honda 1m01.264s
Scott Dixon Lola-Toyota 1m01.444s (1m09.786s*)
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

*Saturday qualifying best

shares
comments
Practice 2: Fittipaldi makes a splash

Previous article

Practice 2: Fittipaldi makes a splash

Next article

Miami: Da Matta is new champion!

Miami: Da Matta is new champion!
Load comments
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021
How Radical's latest machines fare on track Plus

How Radical's latest machines fare on track

The lightweight sportscar manufacturer has not rewritten the rulebook with its latest machines, but the new SR3 XX and SR10 still provide a step forward on its previous successful models

General
Feb 8, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Plus

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them

General
Jan 31, 2021
How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory Plus

How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory

The New Zealand Grand Prix's mix of rising talent and big-name stars thrilled the crowds (yes, remember crowds?) assembled for the Toyota Racing Series meeting at Hampton Downs last weekend and left distant observers craving a repeat

General
Jan 26, 2021
How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going Plus

How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going

OPINION: The 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix might have been a largely muted affair to the outside world without its international influx and star line-ups, another victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers deserve huge credit for keeping the party going

General
Nov 24, 2020