Lola celebrates repeat CART Championship Chassis clients take nine of top ten slots Lola Cars is delighted to claim its second consecutive Constructors' Championship in the 2003 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by ...
Lola celebrates repeat CART Championship
Chassis clients take nine of top ten slots
Lola Cars is delighted to claim its second consecutive Constructors' Championship in the 2003 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.
Lola Cars accomplished this feat by taking 17 of 18 available victories as the firm accumulated 50 wins in the CART series over the previous four years. "I accept this honor on behalf of all personnel at Lola Cars headquarters and have the great pleasure in offering our congratulations to Paul Tracy and his Player's Forsythe team on their championship this year," Lola Chairman Martin Birrane stated.
"[Team Player's owner} Gerald Forsythe has a background similar to my own as a racer and businessman. This is the greatest racing on the planet and now, [with Forsythe, Kevin Kalkhoven and Paul Gentilozzi who all race with Lola] CART has the chance to succeed." This season, Lola furnished not only Champ Car Vanderbilt Cup-winner Paul Tracy's #3 Team Player's Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone racer, it carried all but position nine of the top ten drivers.
"I have to thank Martin Birrane and Lola Cars for their help" in attaining his title, said Paul Tracy. "I've been a huge supporter of Lola Cars since I got in one of their cars last year. I'm glad Jerry Forsythe gave me the opportunity to drive a Lola again this year." At Tracy's suggestion, the team swapped chassis for 2003
Runner-up Bruno Junqueira's #1 PacifiCare Lola, campaigned by Lola stalwarts Newman/Haas Racing (NHR) fell 27 points behind Tracy, and Team Rahal's Michel Jourdain, Jr. in the #9 Gigante Lola was only four points behind Junqueira, losing the opportunity to fight for second place when the last King Taco 500 race was cancelled due to horrendous firestorms within visual contact of the venue's grandstands (the 2-mile California Speedway oval, Fontana, CA).
Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year Sebastien Bourdais earned fourth in the championship in the #2 Lilly Lola and also attained the coveted 4th annual Greg Moore Legacy Award. The Frenchman was fastest driver on all 18 circuits contested this year, taking Bridgestone's Grip on the Season award. Team Player's Patrick Carpentier (#32 Lola) was fifth with a stirring pole and win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Voted most improved driver by his peers, Mario Dominguez netted a second career win at Miami in his #55 Herdez Lola and sixth-place points. Oriol Servia took a pair of runner-up slots in the #20 Visteon/Patrick Lola for seventh. Team co-owner Adrian Fernandez' eighth place for his #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Lola was aided by a victory at Portland while Alex Tagliani claimed tenth place in points for start-up Rocketsports' #33 Johnson Controls Lola.
"We're pleased with our progress," noted Jeff Swartwout of Lola Cars International USA, "but we're looking forward to meeting new challenges" in the coming CART season. "Lola has worked hard" to gain the level of competitiveness it currently enjoys, agreed Rupert Manwaring, Managing Director. "Our goals are to keep our chassis at the top of the Champ Car grid and finishing order with exceptional customer satisfaction."
After seven years of frustration, Lola Cars achieved its first Champ Car Constructors' title in 2002 and repeated this season. New titleholder Tracy said aptly, "I couldn't ask for anything better."