Max Papis "went from zero to hero" in the space of two hours, winning the Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 Champ Car race from pole position and leading the most laps to claim his second CART contest and Lola's 101st CART victory. Driving the ...
Max Papis "went from zero to hero" in the space of two hours, winning the Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 Champ Car race from pole position and leading the most laps to claim his second CART contest and Lola's 101st CART victory.
Driving the #7 Miller Lite Lola/Ford to a 1.472-second advantage over Roberto Moreno's #20 Visteon Reynard/Toyota, the Italian conquered the elements of a cool, wet day, when ambient air and track temperatures were mired in the mid-60-degree range.
"It's terrific that Max has started our march to a second 100 victories for Lola, just as his teammate Kenny Brack capped our first century mark," said Daniel Partel, president of Lola Cars International Inc. "He drove a savvy race and overcame extremely difficult conditions to take this win and we are proud of him and the whole Team Rahal squad."
Papis shared the podium with third-place finisher Christian Fittipaldi, driving the #11 Kmart Blue Light Special Lola/Toyota. Both Papis and Fittipaldi were lavish in their praise of the B1/00 chassis. "The Lola car was good in both the dry and the rain this weekend," Papis declared. "I kept chasing the grip in the track and tried to conserve fuel too. I had to drive the hell out of the car," he grinned. Fittipaldi agreed and recognized "Our package this year is great and the car worked really well in the wet today. It was difficult to get here (in third place)" with nine full-course cautions.
Fittipaldi passed fourth-place finisher Max Wilson, making his third start for fledgling winnerB2B.com Arciero-Blair Racing, in their #25 Lola/Ford, on lap 69 of the timed, 76-lap contest. "It would have been very hard to try and hold him because Christian was much quicker," Wilson admitted. "I tried, but I locked my rear tires under braking and he overtook me. It's just our third race with the Lola/Ford combination and we've already scored some points, so I'm very pleased. Lola have given us great support."
Oriol Servia brought the #22 Sigma Autosport Lola/Ford home in ninth place in the soggy sprint, and persevered despite a black flag penalty for ostensibly passing before the green flag. It was the sophomore Champ Car driver's second points-paying finish for the new Sigma team and he noted, "other than the penalty, today was okay, as we needed to finish in the points again. We didn't make any mistakes from our end."
Kenny Brack, despite starting 22nd in his #8 Shell Lola/Ford and finishing 11th, continues to lead the points chase by seven over Helio Castroneves, who failed to gain points. The Champ Cars now break camp in the Pacific Northwest and head for Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport. The fast runway circuit hosts the Marconi Grand Prix next weekend.