CHAMPCAR/CART: Fontana: Toyota race report

Da Matta's heartbreak; Servia leads Toyota '500' charge - Cristiano da Matta appeared to be on his way to victory with just 14 laps remaining, but an engine malfunction thwarted his chance of repeating last year's victory at "The 500 Presented...

Da Matta's heartbreak; Servia leads Toyota '500' charge

- Cristiano da Matta appeared to be on his way to victory with just 14 laps remaining, but an engine malfunction thwarted his chance of repeating last year's victory at "The 500 Presented by Toyota." Oriol Servia finished as the highest-placing Toyota with a fifth after a stirring charge through the field from the 18th starting position. Servia led a group of four Toyotas among just nine cars that finished the race.

- Oriol Servia earned his second top-five finish of the season with a fifth after starting 18th. He also registered the fastest lap of the race.

- Today's race proved to be a major one for Toyota Atlantic Championship graduates, with the top three finishers -- Jimmy Vasser, Michael Andretti and Patrick Carpentier all former Atlantic stars. Andretti won the championship in 1983, Carpentier won in 1996 and Vasser was the runner-up in 1991.

- Bruno Junqueiraregistered his 12th top-10 finish of the season with his 9th-place showing today. Junqueira ran in the top five early before falling two laps back after a pit miscue.

- Scott Dixon took home his 11th top-10 finish of the season with a sixth-place showing.

- Christian Fittipaldi maintained his fifth-place standing in the points race with a seventh today -- his 10th top-10 finish of the season.

- Toyota drivers continue to rank first and second in the CART points race with three in the top five. Series champion Cristiano da Matta leads with 221 points followed by boyhood friend Bruno Junqueira in second with 148. Junqueira carries just a three-point advantage going into the season finale. Christian Fittipaldi is fifth with 114 points.

- Despite missing out on its 10th win of the campaign, Toyota holds a 42-point advantage in the Manufacturer's race, having clinched the title with two races remaining at Australia.

QUOTES:

Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports: b^0x001cWe would have liked to repeat here in Southern California, but it wasn't meant to be today. Cristiano obviously had the car to beat, but we just came up 14 laps short. I can't say enough about the race that Oriol Servia ran, either. To qualify at the back of the field and to work his way up to fifth and run the fastest lap of the race was a tremendous accomplishment by Oriol and the entire Patrick Racing team."

Next Race: Mexico Grand Prix,Nov. 17, SPEED, Time TBA

-toyota motorsports-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Christian Fittipaldi , Scott Dixon , Oriol Servia , Cristiano da Matta