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Archive for Sunday, July 15, 2001

Molson Indy: Penske team takes top two spots

July 15, 2001

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— There's nothing like seeing a familiar face at the front of the pack. Or is there?

Gil de Ferran got the first pole of the CART season Saturday, edging Penske Racing teammate Helio Castroneves in qualifying for the Molson Indy. That means the two Brazilians will have to rein in their aggression during today's race when they funnel into turn 1, a sharp right-hander on the temporary street circuit. Or else.

"Roger (Penske) is going to talk to us so we don't get too close to each other," Castroneves said. "We have to make the first turn and the last turn."

De Ferran had another idea.

"I'm only going to brake when you brake," he told de Ferran with a smile.

De Ferran, fastest in both rounds of practice on Friday, hadn't won a pole since the 2000 season finale in California, where he set a world closed-course speed record of 241.428 mph.

"I'm on the right side this time," de Ferran said. "It's been a really clean weekend for us. We unloaded with a very good car from the start, so it was just a matter of getting everything right. The track is still slippery in places, but it is definitely getting quicker. Hopefully, it will just be a nice clean race, but it never is this way in Toronto."

Just after Castroneves posted the fastest time, de Ferran came back with a lap at 109.492 mph in 57.703 seconds to win his 12th career pole and second at Toronto.

Castroneves had gotten around at 109.370 in 57.767 seconds.

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