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The Bayfront Park street circuit was slick enough yesterday in the dry. Today, final qualifying for the CART portion of the Grand Prix Americas added another variable—rain. For the most part this made yesterday’s session, slick though it may have been, the final starting grid. However, CART’s rules, which guarantee a championship point and a front-row starting slot for the pacesetter of the day’s final qualifying session, ensured a full field of contenders despite the challenging conditions.

In a bit of poetic justice, Scott Dixon—who thought he could have been on pole yesterday but for traffic—grabbed Saturday’s prize with a lap of 1:09.786 (71.550mph) in his Target/Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota/Lola. Tony Kanaan, who’d guaranteed himself a front-row slot by taking provisional pole yesterday, opted not to go out and risk tasting concrete on the problematic track. He'll start from the pole tomorrow in Mo Nunn's Pioneer/WorldCom Honda/Lola.

The session finally got under way about a half hour late, without the customary practice session and no lap limit. The sun came out halfway through the 40-minute session, making it likely that the latest possible moment would provide the fastest conditions, and so it proved as Dixon traded fast laps with Dario Franchitti to the end. It didn't gain Dixon—second yesterday, too—a position, but did at least score him a championship point.

Some 1800sqft of concrete were added to the problematic Turns 4-5-6 area overnight, then surrounded with an asphalt sealant, in an attempt to ensure the circuit can hold up for the balance of the weekend, starting with this afternoon's ALMS race.

Grand Prix Americas qualifying results:

1) Tony Kanaan, No. 10 WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda/Lola, 1:01.264/81.503mph
2) Scott Dixon, No. 44 Target/Ganassi Toyota/Lola, 1:09.786*
3) Tora Takagi, No. 5 Pioneer/Denso Walker Racing Toyota/Reynard, 1:02.039
4) Kenny Brack, No. 12 Target/Ganassi Toyota/Lola, 1:02.065
5) Alex Tagliani, No. 33 Player’s/Indeck Ford/Reynard, 1:02.304
6) Cristiano da Matta, No. 6 Havoline/Newman-Haas Toyota/Lola, 1:02.348
7) Dario Franchitti, No. 27 Team KOOL Green Honda/Lola, 1:02.369
8) Christian Fittipaldi, No. 11 Eli Lilly Newman-Haas Toyota/Lola, 1:02.523
9) Adrian Fernandez, No. 51 Tecate/Telmex Honda/Lola, 1:02.543
10) Bruno Junqueira, No. 4 Target/Ganassi Toyota/Lola, 1:02.607
11) Shinji Nakano, No. 52 Alpine/Mitsubishi Honda/Lola, 1:02.750
12) Jimmy Vasser, No. 8 Shell/Team Rahal Ford/Lola, 1:02.860
13) Oriol Servia, No. 20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota/Reynard, 1:02.891
14) Michael Andretti, No. 39 Team Motorola Honda/Lola, 1:03.052
15) Michel Jourdain Jr. No. 9 Gigante/Team Rahal Ford/Lola, 1:03.055
16) Paul Tracy, No. 26 Team KOOL Green Honda/Lola, 1:03.134
17) Patrick Carpentier, No. 32 Player’s/Indeck Ford/Reynard, 1:04.135
18) Mario Dominguez, No. 16 Herdez Competition Ford/Lola, 1:04.326
 
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