Team Rahal's Kenny Brack scored Lola's 99th victory in the CART Fedex Championship Series at the Twin Ring Motegi on Saturday, moving the British race car manufacturer one step closer to a CART century. Having taken second place at the Nazareth ...
Team Rahal's Kenny Brack scored Lola's 99th victory in the CART Fedex Championship Series at the Twin Ring Motegi on Saturday, moving the British race car manufacturer one step closer to a CART century. Having taken second place at the Nazareth Speedway two weeks ago, the Swede put in another extremely strong performance in his Shell Ford Lola to record his first CART career win.
Brack took the lead on lap 150 and held it to the chequered flag to take a 3.650-second victory over pole-sitter Helio Castroneves (Penske Reynard Honda) before an event-record crowd of 72,000. En route to his victory on the 1.549-mile oval in Japan, Brack averaged a race-record 178.113 miles per hour and led 75 of the 201-lap race.
The 35-year-old winner of last season's Rookie of the Year Award has had three top-five finishes in 2001 and has qualified on the front row of the grid at the first four rounds of the season (including the abandoned show down at the Texas Speedway).
Brack now leads Castroneves in the FedEx Championship series by two points, and holds the record for the most race laps led this season with 228, including 200 on ovals. Underlining the company's dominant form, a Lola driver has led the 2001 championship from the outset.
"It's a big weight off my shoulders. We've been close so many times and it's a great feeling now we've done it," said Brack. "It was a very exciting race for me and there was a lot of overtaking. The car ran really well and I think fuel mileage was the key."
Newman/Haas Racing's Christian Fittipaldi (Lola-Toyota) finished a season-best fourth in the team's 300th Champ car race, while team-mate Cristiano da Matta exited on the opening lap after contact with fellow Lola driver Bruno Junqueira (Ganassi Lola-Toyota) who was leading the championship when the teams arrived in Japan.
"This is a fantastic result for Kenny Brack and Lola," enthused Daniel Partel, President of Lola Cars International Inc. "Kenny's first career victory is Lola's 99th so we are now one step closer to notching up a century of CART wins which will be an amazing achievement."
The 2001 CART series now heads back to the US for round six at The Milwaukee Mile on 3rd June.