Da Matta rides Bridgestones to Miami Victory and Championship. As he has done all year, Cristiano da Matta drove a smooth, calculated and strategically sound race today. It earned the Brazilian sensation more than just his seventh race victory...
Da Matta rides Bridgestones to Miami Victory and Championship.
As he has done all year, Cristiano da Matta drove a smooth, calculated and strategically sound race today. It earned the Brazilian sensation more than just his seventh race victory of the 2002 season; it clinched the series championship. As such, da Matta becomes the first CART champion on Bridgestone tires, since Bridgestone debuted in the FedEx Championship this year.
Da Matta, driving a Toyota/Lola on Bridgestone Potenzas for Newman/Haas Racing, credited the incredible chemistry and teamwork his crew put forth to put him out front and keep him there all season. He also could not overlook the pivotal role played by the Bridgestone tires.
"It was good to work with Bridgestone this year," da Matta said among the chaotic championship celebration. "The high point of everything during this championship was the consistency of the tires. I don't think we had any race where we had a problem with tire wear. It was just good tires, reliable, always there. It just feels great right now to win the championship. Just great!"
All cars in the FedEx Championship Series this year are equipped with Bridgestone Potenza racing radials. Bridgestone is the Official Tire of CART.
Quote from Joe Barbieri, Project Supervisor, Bridgestone Motorsport:
"What a fitting way for the champion to wrap up his title, by winning the race in his hometown! We're extremely proud that Cristiano and legendary Newman/Haas Racing are the first of what we hope are many, many CART series champions to ride on Bridgestone tires. Just like the tires he was provided, Cristiano was incredibly fast and incredibly consistent all year long. It is truly a worthy championship combination - Cristiano, Newman/Haas and Bridgestone. It's been an exciting season and, while the championship may have been decided, we still have three very important and demanding races remaining. The Bridgestone Motorsport group plans no let-up and we'll continue to supply teams with what we believe to be the best racing tires available anywhere."
Race temperatures ranged from 118 to 127 degrees track and from 89 to 91
degrees ambient (F).
Race temperatures ranged from 48 to 53 degrees track and from 32 to 33 degrees ambient (C).