Da Matta keeps his cool for third consecutive victory. Cristiano da Matta had to overcome the competition and the intense heat to collect his third straight FedEx Championship Series win today, and it was in no small part due to the Bridgestone...
Da Matta keeps his cool for third consecutive victory.
Cristiano da Matta had to overcome the competition and the intense heat to collect his third straight FedEx Championship Series win today, and it was in no small part due to the Bridgestone tires on his Havoline Toyota/Lola. Despite sweltering heat that saw track temperatures top out at 130 degrees and the air temperature above 100, the Bridgestone Potenza race tires stayed with da Matta and every competitor over 250 grueling laps at Chicago Motor Speedway.
In the end, da Matta edged his childhood friend Bruno Junqueira to the checkered flag by a mere 0.639 of a second. Da Matta has now won four of the seven races in the Bridgestone CART era, since the tire maker became the Official Tire of CART and began supplying all teams this year. The speedy Brazilian was well aware afterward of the role the tires played in his latest triumph.
"Bridgestone did a great job with the tires," da Matta said. "With this heat, I was afraid we would be slipping around all over the place, but that was not the case. The car got a little loose later in the runs, but it wasn't anything like I was afraid it might be. The tires were very consistent, as usual. Great job, Bridgestone."
Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone Motorsport: "Today was the near ultimate test for a race tire and the Potenzas passed with flying colors. The tires held up to the searing heat this afternoon and took a beating, lap after lap after pounding lap. Those conditions would be punishing to the average race tire, but not the Bridgestone Potenzas. All three of the top finishers pushed themselves and their cars to the limit this afternoon, particularly in the last half of the race, and the Bridgestone tires rose to each and every challenge. We could not be more proud of the tire performance than we are at Bridgestone Motorsport today."
Race temperatures ranged from 117 to 130 degrees track and 97 to 101 ambient (F).
Race temperatures ranged from 47 to 54 degrees track and 36 to 38 ambient (C).