Leading British racecar manufacturer Lola Cars International scored a famous one-two victory in yesterday's (Sunday) Grand Prix of Houston, round 18 of this year's CART FedEx Championship Series. In a race of both speed and strategy, Jimmy Vasser...
Leading British racecar manufacturer Lola Cars International scored a famous one-two victory in yesterday's (Sunday) Grand Prix of Houston, round 18 of this year's CART FedEx Championship Series. In a race of both speed and strategy, Jimmy Vasser scored his first success of the season - the American was followed home by his team-mate Juan Montoya to complete a great weekend in Texas for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Toyota and Lola Cars.
Underlining the versatility of Lola's all-conquering CART chassis, Vasser's victory on Houston's temporary 1.53-mile street circuit comes just two weeks after Montoya's win at the Gateway International Raceway, a 1.27-mile oval in Illinois. These two triumphs on two very different types of race track, lift Lola's all time victory tally to 96 in the CART series.
"It's fantastic to win again. I had a great car all weekend; I had to have a great car to beat Montoya," said a delighted Vasser. "I have been in a position to win races before this season - I should have won at Long Beach and Montoya and I dominated in Japan, but it just didn't come. Those close calls make this win all the sweeter."
These back-to-back wins for Target Chip Ganassi Racing have kept alive the team's dream of capturing a fifth successive CART crown. With two rounds remaining both Montoya and Vasser are still in the title race - reigning champion Montoya's recent run has seen the Colombian soar into sixth place in the standings while Vasser has moved into seventh position.
Lola's best hopes of taking the coveted Drivers' championship, however, remain with Michael Andretti. The Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford Lola driver, who led the series mid-season, now holds fourth place following a run of ill-fortune. Andretti dominated at Gateway before his engine expired with a certain victory in sight and the American was again robbed of another strong finish in Houston after being hit from behind by rookie racer Alex Tagliani. The final two races will be staged on the streets of Surfers Paradise in Australia and the Fontana SuperSpeedway in California. With 44 points still to be won, Andretti trails Gil de Ferran by 26 points.
"I'm proud to see three Lola drivers still in with a chance of lifting the crown," says Lola's Managing Director, David Bowes. "All three are past champions, so they know what it takes to win this title. That should give them an advantage as the series enters its crucial phase."