Tony Kanaan, Driver, Andretti Green Racing Honda - 2003

2/26/2003 8:50:51 PM

Birthdate: December 31, 1974

Birthplace: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Resides: Miami, FL and Sao Paulo, Brazil

Height/Weight: 5'5", 150 lbs.

Personal: Single

Interests: Fitness training, bicycling


Brazilian Tony Kanaan comes to Andretti Green Racing after three years with Mo Nunn Racing, highlighted by an outstanding performance in last year's Indy 500. In his rookie run at the Speedway, Kanaan dominated much of the first half of the race, leading for a total of 23 laps before spinning on oil dropped by a car in front of him and ending his day against the wall.

Determination and consistency have been the hallmark of Tony Kanaan's career. The 28-year-old Brazilian has let nothing stand in the way of his racing career, despite a lack of financial backing during his early years. Starting in karts, he worked for Mini Kart in Brazil for three years, building chassis and teaching younger drivers during the week in exchange for racing on weekends.

Later, he moved to Italy to race in Formula 3, again living and working in the race shop during the week to earn the opportunity to race. His strong results there led to a test with the top-ranked Tasman Indy Lights team and a career move to North America.

Kanaan moved up to CART in 1998 with Tasman after winning the '97 Indy Lights crown following a season-long battle with teammate Helio Castroneves. He scored championship points in 11 of his 19 race starts, finished ninth in the championship and was '98 CART Rookie of the Year.

His first race victory came the following year, holding off Juan Montoya "by a nose" to win the Michigan 500. Moving to the new Mo Nunn Racing organization in 2000, Kanaan continued to be a force in CART, particularly after the team made the change to Honda power last year.

Although a series of mechanical failures blunted his efforts, Kanaan still managed to lead at a half-dozen different CART races and scored a career-high 99 points last season.

Tony Kanaan Racing Record

Year

Starts
1st
2-10th
Standings

Notes & Highlights

2002

20
0
11
12th

Led 23 laps at the Indianapolis 500

2001

19
0
12
9th

Scored points in 14 of 19 starts

2000

17
0
6
19th

Missed three races due to injury in Detroit

1999

20
1
9
11th

Won at Michigan Speedway

1998

19
0
19
9th

CART Rookie of the Year