CHAMPCAR/CART: Lola on top at Fontana

Lola Cars International Ltd finished the 2000 CART FedEX Championship Series on a high with Christian Fittipaldi tasting victory in the final round in California yesterday. The Brazilian driver, who also claimed a $1 million bonus for finishing ...

Lola Cars International Ltd finished the 2000 CART FedEX Championship Series on a high with Christian Fittipaldi tasting victory in the final round in California yesterday. The Brazilian driver, who also claimed a $1 million bonus for finishing first in the Marlboro 500 presented by Toyota, was Lola's seventh win of the season and 97th in total in CART.

Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford Lola driver Fittipaldi said: "Since the car got here on Thursday and we started running Friday, we made very few changes. Everything was perfect for 500 miles. It's obviously very good and it's great to start on a high note for next year."

Despite Lola running with just 22 per cent of the CART field, the leading British racecar manufacturer led nearly 50 per cent of all the laps this season. Colombian Juan Montoya, competing in the Toyota Powered Target Chip Ganassi Racing Lola in his final Champ Car season before joining the ranks of Formula One, was at the head of the pack for a massive 820 laps, more than double the total of anyone else.

Lola also ran its nearest rival Reynard close in the Constructor's Championship finishing second, just 82 points adrift although it entered less than half the number of cars. The statistics add up to Lola's most successful year in Champ Car racing since it won the title with Nigel Mansell and Newman / Haas Racing in 1993.

"We've had an excellent year in the CART championship," says Lola's Managing Director, David Bowes. "We've shown that our Champ Car programme is improving all the time and next season I fully expect us to be stronger still. To win the final race of the year is a great foundation for the 2001 season."

It was also a weekend to celebrate for the Lola sportscar programme with the radical B2K/10 SR1 machine claiming its highest finish of the season in the penultimate round of the American Le Mans Series in Las Vegas.

The Olive Garden-backed Team Rafanelli Judd-powered car, raced by Mimmo Schiattarella and Didier de Radigues, finished fourth overall and first of the privately-entered sports prototypes in the Grand Prix of Las Vegas run on Sunday.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Didier de Radigues , Christian Fittipaldi , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing