Three In A Row For Da Matta, Toyota At Monterrey
Today's victory by Cristiano da Matta is Toyota's third consecutive Champ Car victory as the manufacturer closed out the 2001 campaign with victories by Cristiano da Matta at Australia and Fontana. The win is the 12th overall for Toyota in FedEx Championship Series competition.
Cristiano da Matta's win is his second straight here at Monterrey and his third consecutive Champ Car victory after wins at Australia and Fontana last season. It's da Matta's fifth career victory (Chicago - 2000, Monterrey - 2001, Australia - 2001 and Fontana - 2001) - all coming with Toyota power. The win is the fourth for Newman/Haas with Toyota power.
Cristiano da Matta's first-place finish is his third consecutive CART podium finish and his fourth in the last six races after finishing third last year at England and winning Australia and Fontana.
Christian Fittipaldi's third-place finish today matches his podium total from last season when he registered one third-place finish at Portland. The effort gives Newman/Haas two cars on the podium for the first time since joining the Toyota ranks last season.
Scott Dixon finished in sixth place and now has placed in the top 10 in more than 50 percent of the Champ Car events he's run in his career (11 of 21).
Oriol Servia finished 10th to register a top-10 finish in his first start with the PWR Championship Racing team. The finish gives PWR two cars in the top 10 today.
Toyota-powered cars took four of the top-10 spots and with Bruno Junqueira's 11th-place showing, the manufacturer took five of the first 12 today.
Cristiano da Matta, #6 Havoline Toyota: "Other than a few problems with the traction control, everything was really good. It's great to go out and run as hard as you can and win the race. We were fast all weekend, but it was only one race and we're going to have to continue to improve. Toyota is working hard and giving us very good equipment. It's a great start to a long season."
Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports: "Cristiano was the fastest all weekend and he ran a terrific race to win today. We're extremely pleased that not only did a a Toyota-powered car win today, but also that a Toyota ran the fastest in every dry session of the weekend. Everyone at TRD has worked hard throughout the off-season and the results showed today." <pre> Race Results Start/Finish #6 Cristiano da Matta 5/1 #11 Christian Fittipaldi 4/3 #7 Scott Dixon 14/6 #17 Oriol Servia 11/10 #4 Bruno Junqueira 7/11 #5 Tora Takagi 15/14 #12 Kenny Brack 8/18 #20 Townsend Bell 9/20
Manufacturer's Championship: Toyota 21, Honda 18, Ford 12
Next Race: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 14th