Head of British race car manufacturer Lola Cars International Ltd David Bowes firmly believes the company's new Champ Car will reach victory lane this year, following today's performance by reigning champion Juan Montoya in the first round of the...
Head of British race car manufacturer Lola Cars International Ltd David Bowes firmly believes the company's new Champ Car will reach victory lane this year, following today's performance by reigning champion Juan Montoya in the first round of the 2000 CART FedEx Championship Series.
The Colombian, who qualified second for the race, at the Miami Speedway, Homestead, Florida, flashed past pole man Gil De Ferran at turn one of the 1.5-mile oval track after the green flag. He immediately stormed into a commanding position at the front of the 25-car field, in his Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota-powered Lola, and set the best lap time of the race (25.948s/208.386mph).
American star Michael Andretti gave Lola a one-two running position when he moved from sixth at the start to fall in behind Montoya by the end of the first lap in his Ford-engined Newman/Haas car. Unfortunately, both drivers' races ended prematurely, but they threw down the gauntlet in terms of speed for the rest of the season.
Bowes, Managing Director of Lola, said: "We had the fastest car today in race trim, no-one could beat us for speed. I'm quite confident that Montoya in particular is going to win races this year. When he gets to the finish he is clearly going to win.
"The whole package with the Toyota and Ford engines is very quick, we proved that at the beginning. And the reliability of the package, with the Mercedes engine as well, was proved with the three cars that finished."
American Jimmy Vasser (Target Chip Ganassi) and Brazilian Christian Fittipaldi (Newman/Haas) both brought their Lolas home in the points, Vasser a creditable fourth and Fittipaldi seventh. Michael Jourdain Jnr, in a Mercedes-engined Herdez Bettenhausen Motorsports Lola, finished 14th.
Bowes added: "We have a lot of positives to take home from today's race and work on. It was great to watch Lola cars running one and two and great to see three cars with three different manufacturers' engines get to the finish.