Lola-Ford racer Kenny Brack matched a career-best performance in the CART Fedex Championship Series with a strong second place in Sunday's Lehigh Valley Toyota Grand Prix of Nazareth. Having started on the front row of the grid at every round of...
Lola-Ford racer Kenny Brack matched a career-best performance in the CART Fedex Championship Series with a strong second place in Sunday's Lehigh Valley Toyota Grand Prix of Nazareth. Having started on the front row of the grid at every round of the 2001 season, the Swede continued his and Lola's dominant form by qualifying his Shell Ford Lola second fastest for the 224-lap race on the 0.946-mile Nazareth Speedway.
Brack took the lead from rookie polesitter Bruno Junqueira (Target Chip Ganassi Lola-Toyota) at turn one, and held the advantage for the first 125 laps. The hard-charging Brack had to settle for second place behind rookie Scott Dixon (PacWest Reynard-Toyota), who became the youngest driver to win a CART, Formula One or IRL race. The 2000 Dayton Indy Lights champion started from 23rd on the grid and was handed the lead when Tony Kanaan (Hollywood Reynard-Honda) pitted on lap 189. Dixon held off Brack for the last 35 laps to win by just 0.366 seconds.
Brack collected 17 championship points for finishing second and leading the most race laps (125), which moves him from ninth place to tie for fifth in the championship with 29 points. Fellow Lola driver Cristiano da Matta is now tied for the championship lead with Paul Tracy.
"I tried to put pressure on Scott after the last restart, but he was very good out of the corners and I just couldn't get a run on him," said Brack. "In the end I was half a second to a second faster than him but it's so hard to pass here."
Other Lola drivers were also among the major points scorers in Nazareth. The two Newman/Haas Racing Lola-Toyotas of Christian Fittipaldi and Cristiano da Matta both finished in the top ten (fifth and tenth respectively). Junqueira finished seventh and Sigma Autosport Lola-Ford's Oriol Servia finished eighth.
Graduates from the Indy Lights series, for which Lola is the exclusive chassis supplier, have won all three CART races this season.
"All our teams can be proud of another strong performance in qualifying and the race," enthused Daniel Partel, President of Lola Cars International Inc. "I'd particularly like to congratulate Kenny Brack on a great result. I'm confident that it won't be long before he's on the top step of the podium, after all he's been leading more laps than any other driver this season."
The 2001 CART series now moves to Motegi in Japan for its first overseas race of the season on 19th May.