Â FRANCHITTI WINS WITH REYNARD AND TAKES CHAMPIONSHIP TO THE WIRE Dario Franchitti driving a Team Green Reynard Honda stormed to victory from pole in the penultimate round of the 1999 Fedex Championship Series this weekend. Franchitti travelled...
FRANCHITTI WINS WITH REYNARD AND TAKES CHAMPIONSHIP TO THE WIRE Dario Franchitti driving a Team Green Reynard Honda stormed to victory from pole in the penultimate round of the 1999 Fedex Championship Series this weekend. Franchitti travelled to Surfers Paradise, Australia with a 13 point deficit to Juan Montoya's championship lead after the Houston race and needed a strong showing to keep his championship hopes alive. He performed brilliantly all weekend, taking all possible points - pole position (1 point), most laps lead (1 point) and victory in the race (20 points) - to create a dramatic turnaround in the fight for the Driver's Championship title. Franchitti now heads for the final race with a nine point lead over Montoya.
Reynard Champ Cars took all top three positions in the Honda Indy 300 to record another podium sweep for the constructor, with Max Papis, Team Rahal, Reynard Ford Cosworth taking second place and Adrian Fernandez, Patrick Racing, Reynard Ford Cosworth, completing the podium trio. The victory was Franchitti's third of the season and the sixth of his career, and made him the ninth different winnner in the nine-year history of the event. Max Papis recorded a career-best runner-up performance in his 58th Champ Car start.
Dario Franchitti, Team Green Reynard Honda, commented after the race, "At the start, I got a good jump on Bryan and after that it was fairly comfortable and I worked on opening a consistent gap. The first (pit) stop took a little longer than I'd like, but after that it was just getting on with it, staying out front, saving fuel and being consistent. Then (team general manager) Kim Green came on the radio and said (Juan) Montoya was out and I thought, 'This is what we've been waiting for. Don't make any mistakes.' It was a perfect weekend. I really have to thank Reynard, Honda and Firestone because today they proved to be the perfect package. It was just perfect and now we hope for a similar result in Fontana."
The final round of the 1999 Fedex Championship Series takes place in Fontana, California on 31st October. Reynard has already wrapped up the Constructors Championship title and a Reynard driver has taken the Driver's Championship title, but whether it is Dario Franchitti or Juan Montoya, will be decided at the 500 mile superspeedway race in two week's time.