CHAMPCAR/CART: Cristiano Chicago preview

<pre> CRISTIANO da MATTA, ...

<pre> CRISTIANO da MATTA, #97 PIONEER ELECTRONICS/MCI WorldCom TOYOTA-REYNARD CART Season: 2 Best CART Start: 2 (Toronto, 2000) Best CART Finish: 3 (Cleveland, 2000) Points Standings: 10 </pre> Da Matta + PPIM/2001: The much sought after Da Matta re-signed with Cal Wells and PPI Motorsports one week ago in Michigan. 2001 will be da Matta's third year with PPIM and in Champ Car competition.

In the Points: The series point's chase is tighter than ever. Da Matta is ranked tenth in points, only one point shy of Jimmy Vasser who sits ninth position. Just seven points separate tenth and sixth place. Setting a New Standard: Da Matta and PPIM are setting a new standard. Da Matta earned his best ever Champ Car qualifying effort in Toronto, as he qualified on the front row. Da Matta has qualified in the top ten in four of the last five races, and finished in the top ten in three of the last four events. Scott Pruett is the only other PPIM driver to have qualified on the front row with his pole at Fontana last year. No other PPIM driver has led ever led a lap in a Champ Car race.

Chicago Last Year: Da Matta started the inaugural Target Grand Prix from ninth position last year and finished fourteenth.

Cristiano on Chicago: "I am feeling very optimistic about this weekend. We were the fastest car here in the test last month. I had a very good car, so we will of course start with what we had then. I think we have made very big improvements for the ovals compared to where we were at, earlier this season. My guys have been working so hard; they have been on the road for weeks. We were running very well last weekend during the race, my car was good, and then we had the pit incident. That was very hard for the whole team, and me but we had a team dinner this week, and we are all trying to put that behind us and focus on this weekend. I will do my best to give them the result they deserve!"

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Scott Pruett