MOTOR RACING: Tough time in practice for Mansell: World champion's Lola-Ford proves troublesome in IndyCar qualifying

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The Independent Online
IT HAS been a difficult weekend for Formula One world champion Nigel Mansell, who could manage no better than ninth position on the starting grid for today's Molson Indy race here.

Early in the first qualifying heat Mansell, leading in the IndyCar standings, placed himself in sixth spot, normally not a cause for celebration, but it was his best time of the weekend. In the morning his time would have made him second quickest. To put this situation in context it should be remembered that a slim 0.6sec covers Mansell and pole man Emerson Fittipaldi.

Fittipaldi set a new track record at 58.256sec, 109.998mph as qualifying ended on Saturday. His team- mate Paul Tracy will start on the inside of the front row.

Mansell said: 'I'm a little bit disappointed. We have had some major problems with the car. I'm just happy that we've sorted some of the problems out. The crew had to work very hard and I congratulate them.'

Reflecting on the fact that this is his rookie year and Toronto is another unfamiliar circuit, he said: 'Give me a year or two and maybe we'll do a lot better.'

MOLSON INDY (Toronto) Leading final qualifying times: 1 E Fittipaldi (Bra) 58.256sec (109.998 mph); 2 P Tracy (Can) 58.497 (109.545); 3 B Rahal (US) 58.611 (109.331); 4 D Sullivan (US) 58.635 (109.287) 5 S Johansson (Swe) 58.695 (109.174; 6 R Boesel (Bra) 58.702 (109.161); 7 A Unser Jnr (US) 58.771 (109.034); 8 A Luyendyk (Neth) 58.773 (109.029); 9 N Mansell (GB) 58.832 (108.921); 10 S Goodyear (US) 58.968 (108.670).