LOLA IS STREETS AHEAD IN TORONTO Andretti gives British racecar manufacturer first non-oval Champ Car win since 1996 American ace Michael Andretti proved the all-round abilities and strengths of Lola Cars International's Champ Car with a...
LOLA IS STREETS AHEAD IN TORONTO
Andretti gives British racecar manufacturer first non-oval Champ Car win since 1996
American ace Michael Andretti proved the all-round abilities and strengths of Lola Cars International's Champ Car with a stunning victory in Canada yesterday, the leading British racecar manufacturer's 93rd success in the CART series.
The former champion recorded his 40th career win, his 28th with Lola, at the Molson Indy of Toronto. It was also the first success for Lola on a street course since Andretti won in Vancouver in 1996 and follows two victories on the oval tracks earlier this year. Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford Lola driver Andretti, who qualified third for the 112-lap race, led 34 laps and, following great pit work by his Newman/Haas Racing team, made his decisive move to the front on lap 80. He crossed the line a comfortable six and a half seconds ahead of second-placed Adrian Fernandez, of Mexico. Andretti, who also set the fastest lap of the race in his Lola, said: "The car never missed a beat and the team was great today. The pit stops were perfect. This helps a lot towards the championship."
The result in Canada puts Andretti and Lola in a great position for title honours at the mid-point of the CART FedEx Championship Series season. He is now just two points behind series leader Roberto Moreno, who failed to score yesterday.
Reigning champion Juan Montoya, also a winner with Lola this season in his Toyota-powered Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, was in a great position at the start to challenge for the victory after qualifying fourth. But a collision with Scotland's Dario Franchitti at the tight third corner of the first lap put both drivers out of the race. Montoya's team-mate Jimmy Vasser came home a respectable ninth.
Lola's Managing Director David Bowes said: "This is a very pleasing victory for Lola. It was a hard race and Lola came out on top proving that our car can win on a variety of circuits. It is also great to see a Lola driver up there fighting for the championship."
Andretti will be hoping for a repeat performance next weekend when the CART Fedex Championship Series heads back to America for round 11, the Michigan 500 Presented by Toyota, at Michigan Speedway, Brooklyn.