<pre> MOTOROLA 220 Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis. Date: August 20, 2000 Broadcast: 4 p.m. ABC ET Race Length: 55 laps, 222.6 miles Track Length: 4.048-mile road ...
<pre> MOTOROLA 220 Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis.
Date: August 20, 2000 Broadcast: 4 p.m. ABC ET Race Length: 55 laps, 222.6 miles Track Length: 4.048-mile road course 1999 Winner: Christian Fittipaldi Toyota's Best Finish: 8th, Juan Fangio II, 1996 8th, Robby Gordon, 1999 Toyota's Best Qualifying: 11th, Cristiano da Matta, 1999 Track Speed Records: Qualifying: 1999, Michael Andretti, 144.692 mph Race: 1999, Christian Fittipaldi, 137.697mph
Manufacturer Points: Ford 225; Honda 204; Toyota 190; Mercedes Benz 52
</pre> What to look for at Road America:
WISCONSIN DOUBLE? - When Juan Montoya and the Toyota Champ Car program arrive in Elkhart Lake, Wis., for the Motorola 220, the Colombian will be looking to become only the second driver in history to sweep the two Wisconsin races on the FedEx Championship Series schedule. Montoya won Toyota's first-ever Champ Car race at the rain-delayed Miller Lite 225 at The Milwaukee Mile in June. If he's victorious this weekend, he'll join Michael Andretti (1996, 1991) as the only two CART drivers to win at both Milwaukee and Road America in the same season.
CONSISTENT ROOKIE - Most Champ Car rookies tend to ride a roller coaster of inconsistency, but when PPI's Oriol Servia takes to a road course, he's proven to be a model of consistency. In six road course events this season, the 1999 Indy Lights champion has finished in the points five times. Only a first-lap incident at Cleveland where Servia was hit from behind on the first turn has ruined his perfect record. To date, Servia's earned a third at Detroit, a sixth at Long Beach, an eighth at Portland, a 10th at Mid-Ohio and an 11th at Toronto.
HE'S IN THE MONEY - American Memo Gidley has earned his three consecutive points-paying finishes in three races since signing to drive for Della Penna Motorsports (DPM). The team had registered just one points paying finish in the season's first 10 events prior to Gidley's arrival. The former Toyota Atlantic ace placed 10th at Michigan and Chicago, and 12th this past weekend at Mid-Ohio.
Gidley will have a new challenge at Road America - racing on a track where he's actually tested after completing an extremely successful two-day test two weeks ago. While having "subbed" his way into 16 starts the past two seasons, Gidley has achieved a rare accomplishment - having run more Champ Car race days than test days.
QUALIFIED FOR THE JOB - Juan Montoya is the only FedEx Championship Series driver to have qualified in the top 10 for all 13 races this season. How impressive is that? Only one other driver (Gil de Ferran) has qualified in the top 10 as many as 12 times. Over the course of the season, Montoya has five pole positions and seven front-row starts.
ENJOYING THE VIEW - Juan Montoya isn't the only driver who's been qualifying well. Since Detroit in early June, Cristiano da Matta has been enjoying the view from up front as well. The second-year Champ Car driver has qualified in the top nine in each of the past five road course events. Da Matta has earned a second (Toronto), a pair of fifths (Detroit/Portland), a seventh (Mid-Ohio) and a ninth (Portland) in the most recent road course events. Da Matta also qualified fifth on the oval at Chicago.
RICE, WHELDON CONTINUE ATLANTIC BATTLE - Current points leader Buddy Rice continues his championship battle with rookie Daniel Wheldon in this weekend's Toyota Atlantic Championship race. Rice leads Wheldon, 120-103, with four races remaining. Wheldon's PPI teammate, Andrew Bordin, the 1999 Road America winner, sits third with 91 points, just ahead of Martin Basso (88). Rocky Moran Jr., rounds out the top five with 75 points. Past race winners include Patrick Carpentier and Alex Barron.
Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports: "We had a tough weekend at Mid-Ohio, but this series is so competitive that, win or lose, you can't worry about what happened yesterday or you will find yourself behind the next week. With so many races and so few weeks off, you have to always be looking ahead. I'm not sure how many people realize that when an engine comes out of a car on Friday or Saturday night, it's immediately packed up for shipping and sent back to TRD to get it prepared for future use. We're looking forward to Road America. Memo Gidley had an exceptional test up there for us a couple of weeks ago and this is our chance to gain a little redemption for Mid-Ohio. After tasting victory the previous two races, we want to get that feeling back."