MO NUNN RACING TANDEM TOPS SPEED CHART FOR THE AMERICAN MEMORIAL
LAUSITZ, Germany--Mo Nunn Racing drivers Tony Kanaan
and Alex Zanardi took to the new EuroSpeedway oval immediately Friday when
they topped the speed charts for Saturday's American Memorial before a crowd
The event, previously titled the German 500, has been renamed in honor of
the victims of Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington,
D.C., and western Pennsylvania.
Kanaan (no limits Honda/Reynard) topped 26 fellow competitors with a lap of
210.340 miles per hour (34.624 seconds) as Champ Cars took their first
competitive laps on the new, 2.023-mile EuroSpeedway oval. Zanardi (Pioneer
Honda/Reynard) followed closely behind at 208.134 mph (34.991 seconds). Each
will be seeking his first victory of the FedEx Championship Series season
when the green flag falls 1:30 p.m. local time for Saturday's 16th round of
Patrick Carpentier (Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard) was third fastest Friday
at 206.540 mph (35.261 seconds), while Kenny Brack (Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola) of Team
Rahal (206.183 mph, 35.322 seconds) and rookie Bruno Junqueira (Target
Toyota/Lola) of Target Chip Ganassi Racing (205.787 mph, 35.390 seconds),
rounded out the top five.
In the interest of giving the drivers as much experience as possible at this
new venue after a rainout of Thursday's testing, the weekend's qualifying
session was canceled and the starting grid was based on championship points.
Defending FedEx Championship Series champion Gil de Ferran (Honda/Reynard)
of Team Penske, who leads the series with 115 points, will start on the
pole, his third pole position of the season.
De Ferran was 20th fastest Friday at 200.462 mph (36.330 seconds). Starting
alongside him on the front row will be Brack, who has won three of the five
completed events contested on ovals this season.
Brack and reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves (Honda/Reynard) of Team Penske, who starts third, are tied behind de Ferran with
110 points each heading into Saturday's event.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
TONY KANAAN, no limits Honda/Reynard: "I think the day's been pretty smooth
for our team. When we went out we were one-two right away. I think we've
worked very hard on sharing information in the team this year, and we were
able to communicate pretty well today. For drivers to accommodate the race
track is not a huge thing. If you've got a good car, it's not very
difficult. I'm very happy to be here.
"I never saw so many people in my life on a Friday of race weekend. It's a
sad situation for us with everything back home. We cannot celebrate today;
we're just doing our jobs. I heard the CDA [Championship Drivers
Association], which is the drivers' association, is going to donate $50,000
to the efforts. Money is nothing right now, but it's all we can do."
ALEX ZANARDI, Pioneer Honda/Reynard: "I love this circuit, it is beautiful.
It's a little scary in the turns because you're facing the wall a few times,
but it is very beautiful. I'm very, very happy. It's just a shame that we're
starting on points because of the rain. But when you have a good car, you
only want to go racing. I actually can't wait to go racing. I can't wait
because we know we have a good car. Even if I'm starting from the back, I'm
still looking forward to the race."
PATRICK CARPENTIER, Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard: "It went pretty well. The
car was pushing a little bit, but it's a really nice facility. It's probably
one of the best we've gone to. They've created kind of a stadium around
here, which makes it even better. I think we will be able to pass in a few
spots, so it should be a good race. At the end of the session I ran on full
tanks with Helio Castroneves and we could pass each other pretty easily. I
think you're going to see some passing. You have to be careful at the exit
of the turns, but I think it's going to be an exciting race."
• The following joint statement was issued Friday by Hans-Jorg
Fischer, president and CEO of EuroSpeedway Lausitz and Joe Heitzler, CART
chairman and CEO: "Since making our announcement yesterday [Thursday]
regarding this weekend's event at EuroSpeedway, we have been contacted by
the President of the State of Brandenburg, Manfred Stolpe, and the German
government. We truly appreciate the support they have shown for our race
weekend. As part of our discussion, a request was made of EuroSpeedway and
CART to rename this weekend's German 500 race The American Memorial in honor
of the victims in the United States. This decision illustrated the
solidarity between the German people, CART and those impacted by the tragic
events in New York City, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. It also reinforces
the importance of people everywhere returning to a normal course. Our hearts
are full of grief in this difficult time and everyone impacted by this event
remains very much in our thoughts. The renaming of the race, coupled with
the variety of special pre-race activities we announced yesterday, will
offer the proper respect in this situation. We welcome the opportunity to
make the victims of the tragedy the focus of The American Memorial, and want
to say 'Thank you' to all the fans, both at EuroSpeedway and those watching
around the world on television, for their concern and support as we begin to
recover from this terrible tragedy." An assortment of special pre- and
post-race activities have been scheduled Saturday as a tribute to Tuesday's
• Michael Andretti (Motorola Honda/Reynard) of Team Motorola arrived
in Lausitz Friday morning after an overnight flight in a private jet from
Allentown, Pa., near his Nazareth home. Andretti, whose scheduled commercial
flight from the United States on Tuesday was delayed due to that day's
tragic events in New York, Washington and western Pennsylvania, departed
Allentown at 4 p.m. aboard a G2B Gulfstream after receiving clearance from
the Federal Aviation Administration and the United States Department of
Defense. Traveling with Andretti were his wife, Leslie; CART Chaplain Rev.
Phil DeRea; Newman/Haas Racing co-owner Carl Haas, co-owner of
Newman/Racing, and his wife, Bernie; and J.F. Thorman, Andretti's business
manager. The plane stopped in Shannon, Ireland, for refueling en route from
Allentown and arrived in Dresden at 7 a.m. local time. Andretti, CART's
all-time victory leader with 41, stands fourth in this year's FedEx
Championship Series with 103 points.
• The Championship Drivers Association, working through its Benevolent
Fund, announced a donation of $50,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster
Relief Fund to aid the victims and families impacted by Tuesday's terrorist
acts. The Championship Drivers Association represents those drivers who
compete in the FedEx Championship Series and the Indy Racing League Northern
Light Series. FedEx Championship Series driver Mauricio Gugelmin (Nextel
PacWest Toyota/Reynard) of the PacWest Racing Group serves as CDA chairman.