Reigning CART FedEX Championship Series champion Juan Montoya gave Lola Cars International its second victory this year in the rain-delayed Miller Lite 225 yesterday at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The 24-year-old led home another former champion, ...
Reigning CART FedEX Championship Series champion Juan Montoya gave Lola Cars International its second victory this year in the rain-delayed Miller Lite 225 yesterday at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The 24-year-old led home another former champion, American Michael Andretti, to give Lola an excellent 1-2 finish and boost the Colombian's hopes of a successful title defence.
The round six victory, Lola's 92nd in the CART championship, was the first for a Toyota-powered car and the first for the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team since it switched to Lola chassis at the start of the year.
Montoya dominated the race after starting from pole position, his third this year, leading 179 of the 225 laps. He also proved the Lola was consistently the fastest car on the Milwaukee Mile, America's oldest race circuit, averaging a race-record 142.684mph.
Although this was his first win in 2000, taking his total of CART victories to eight, Montoya had shown the Toyota-powered Lola's win potential in virtually every round of the series. He led at Homestead, Miami (round 1), Nazareth, Pennsylvania (postponed round 2) and at Motegi, Japan (round 5). Together with Andretti and Montoya's team-mate Jimmy Vasser, Lola has led every single race this year.
Montoya, who has now moved to joint fourth in the title battle, said: "I'm really happy. We've been unlucky in the last few races and I think it was very good to win for Toyota, Target and Lola. The car and the engine have been plenty good enough to win all along, we just needed a bit of luck."
Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline racecar driver Andretti followed up his victory at Motegi, Lola's first of the year, with a great drive to claim second in the Ford-powered car after starting from 10th. He crossed the line just over a second behind the victorious Colombian.
Andretti, who shares fourth in the standings with Montoya, said: "It was a good day. I was actually able to pass Juan in the pits but he got me back in traffic. If there were another ten laps to go it would have been interesting."
David Bowes, Lola Cars International's Managing Director, said: "This is a great result and Lola sends its warmest congratulations to Juan, Michael and both teams. Juan showed from the first race at Homestead that it would not be long before he continued his winning performances of last year."