CHAMPCAR/CART: Laguna Seca PPI Motorsports pre-race notes and quotes

<pre> Event: Honda Grand Prix of Monterey, Featuring the Shell 300 Track: Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey, California 2.238-Mile Permanent Road Course Date: September 10, 2000 TV: ESPN-TV, Sunday, September 10, 2000; 3:00 PM ...

<pre> Event: Honda Grand Prix of Monterey, Featuring the Shell 300 Track: Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey, California 2.238-Mile Permanent Road Course Date: September 10, 2000 TV: ESPN-TV, Sunday, September 10, 2000; 3:00 PM (EST) Series: CART FedEx Championship Series, Round 16

CRISTIANO da MATTA, #97 PIONEER ELECTRONICS/WORLDCOM/TOYOTA-REYNARD

CART Season:                    2
Best CART Start:                2 (Toronto, 2000)
Best CART Finish:               1 (Chicago, 2000)
Points Standings:               7

</pre> Top Toyota: Da Matta is currently the highest ranked Toyota in the CART FedEx Championship Series. Da Matta is ranked 7th in the series, with 88 points.

In the Points: Da Matta has earned 88 points this season to date, 50 points more than his season total last year.

Last Year at Laguna Seca: In his Champ Car debut at Laguna Seca, da Matta qualified 17th, and finished 22nd, when his day ended early due to an oil pressure problem.

Cristiano on Laguna Seca:

"Laguna Seca is the type of track, that you never can tell what will happen. We tested here a few weeks ago, and we were fairly satisfied with our performance the first day, until I had a pretty big accident, which destroyed the car, so we were unable to utilize the second day. My accident was at the end of the day, and fortunately, we were able to find some important developments which should help us come race time. I really like Laguna, it is a tough track but it is also very enjoyable. The season is winding down quite quickly now, we really need to get the most out of every session in order to be fully prepared. We have been doing this all year, but when you can really see the end of the season coming, and you are in a good position in the points, it feels very exciting. We must perform very well, and bring home as many points as possible.

<pre> ORIOL SERVIA, #96 TELEFONICA/TOYOTA-REYNARD

CART Season:                     1  
Best CART Start:                 7  (Portland, 2000)
Best CART Finish:                3  (Detroit, 2000)
Points Standing:                 15

</pre> Oriol vs. The Oriol's: As a guest of Toyota Motorsports and California Speedway, Servia will be on hand to throw the first pitch at Edison Field on Monday, as the Anaheim Angels take on the Baltimore Oriols.

The Rookie Points Chase: With his eleventh place finish in Vancouver, Servia jumped back into second position in the rookie points chase.

Mr. Consistency: Champ Car Rookie, Oriol Servia is the only driver on the circuit to have finished in the points in seven of the eight contested road courses this year. Servia's one exception occurred in Cleveland, where he was hit from behind and retired on the first lap.

Laguna Seca One Year Ago: Last year Servia had an engine problem during qualifying and was only able to complete one lap, but still managed an eleventh place starting position, and finished the race in seventh position en route to his Indy Lights championship. Servia raced here in 1998 in the Indy Lights series as well, and finished second.

Servia on Laguna Seca:

"I am looking forward to racing in Laguna, but I know it will not be an easy weekend. Laguna Seca is a hard track to pass on, but it is also very fun to drive. It is easy to get over the limit in each corner, so I must be careful of that. I tested here a few weeks ago, and it went very well, so that is encouraging. I must have a solid finish here; I need a top ten finish to keep chipping away at the point's standings. I think it will be an interesting weekend."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia