CHAMPCAR/CART: Monterey: Toyota Motorsports race report

Toyota takes top four as da Matta wins Laguna. - Cristiano da Matta (Chevron Toyota) led a Toyota sweep of the top four places at today's Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey. He was joined on the podium by teammate Christian Fittipaldi (Lilly ...

Toyota takes top four as da Matta wins Laguna.

- Cristiano da Matta (Chevron Toyota) led a Toyota sweep of the top four places at today's Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey. He was joined on the podium by teammate Christian Fittipaldi (Lilly Toyota) and Kenny Brack (Target Toyota). Brack's Target teammate Bruno Junqueira was fourth.

- Today's victory is the third of the season by Toyota and the manufacturer's fifth victory in the last seven FedEx Championship Series races. It's Toyota's 14th CART victory - all coming in the last two-plus seasons.

- In addition to sweeping the top four spots, six Toyota drivers finished in the top seven. Only one non-Toyota powered car finished on the lead lap today. The podium sweep is Toyota's first in Champ Car competition. With the dominant performance today, Toyota assumes the Manufacturer's Championship lead with an 88-77 advantage over Honda.

- Cristiano da Matta's victory today is his second of the season and his fourth in the last seven races. It's da Matta's sixth career Champ Car win - all coming with Toyota power. By winning the pole and leading the most laps, da Matta earned 22 points on the weekend out of a possible 23. With today's win, da Matta moves into the FedEx Championship Series points lead by five points.

- Christian Fittipaldi earned his best finish of the season with a second, giving Newman-Haas Racing a one-two finish today. The podium is the second of the season for Fittipaldi after a third in the season-opener at Mexico. It's Fittipaldi's third top-four finish of the season, moving him into third-place in the points race.

- Kenny Brack's third-place podium finish is his best finish of the season, surpassing a fourth at Long Beach. Brack's Target Toyota teammates Bruno Junqueira and Scott Dixon finished fourth and sixth, respectively, giving Target Chip Ganassi Racing three cars in the top six. Junqueira currently ranks fourth in CART points, while Brack is tied for sixth.

- Three Toyota-powered drivers now rank in the top four in points - da Matta -1st,Fittipaldi - 3rd; and Junqueira - 4th. In addition, Kenny Brack has moved into a tie for sixth.

- Toyota-powered cars led all 87 laps today with Cristiano da Matta leading 82 laps - more than double any other driver on a road course - Kenny Brack led one and Christian Fittipaldi led four laps. Da Matta has now led a series-high 164 road course laps (62%) this season, almost four times as many as Michael Andretti's second-place total of 43.

- After qualifying in the top 10 for the fourth time in five races this season, rookie Townsend Bell (Visteon Toyota) earned his first Champ Car top-10 finish with a seventh today. The showing moves Bell into the top spot in the Jim Trueman CART Rookie of the Year standings.

Quotes:

Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports: "It's a fantastic day for Toyota. What more can you say about the Newman-Haas and Target Ganassi teams after capturing five of the top six spots between them. Our congratulations also go out to Townsend Bell for earning his first career top-10. It was a great effort, not only by the drivers, but all of our teams and everyone at TRD. It really came together today."

Cristiano da Matta, #6 Chevron Toyota: "It was a perfect day. Motor racing is a team sport. I don't do anything by myself. I have a great chassis and I have a great engine in Toyota, and we have a great team in Newman-Haas. If you don't have anyone of those parts of the equation then you don't get the kind of performance we had today."

Kenny Brack, #12 Target Toyota: "It was a good day.  Our Target Toyota ran
well today, we just got caught in traffic a couple of times.  We'll take the
third.  We've had a big improvement since Spring Training and we're getting
closer.  I think this will give us a good starting point for Portland."

Manufacturer's Championship: Toyota 88, Honda 77, Ford 69

Next Race: G.I. Joe's 200, June 16th, CBS, 3:30 p.m. EDT/12:30 PDT

-tm-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Bruno Junqueira , Christian Fittipaldi , Scott Dixon , Kenny Brack , Townsend Bell , Chip Ganassi , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing