Toyotas qualify 1-2-3; 7 in top 10 at Bridgestone G.P. of Monterey. - Cristiano da Matta's pole position is the 13th for Toyota in Champ Car competition and the second of the year for a Toyota-powered entry after Bruno Junqueira took the top ...
Toyotas qualify 1-2-3; 7 in top 10 at Bridgestone G.P. of Monterey.
- Cristiano da Matta's pole position is the 13th for Toyota in Champ Car competition and the second of the year for a Toyota-powered entry after Bruno Junqueira took the top qualifying spot at Motegi, Japan, two races ago.
- Cristiano da Matta's pole today is the first of his Champ Car career after having started second on four different occasions, including the most recent CART road course event at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach where he missed the pole by .003 seconds. With the point as today's top qualifying, da Matta now has 30 points, good for fifth overall in the FedEx Championship Series point standings.
- Kenny Brack earned his highest starting position of the season with a second for tomorrow's race. Brack was guaranteed at least the outside of the front row with yesterday's provisional pole. Brack's qualified in the top 10 in four of five '02 races.
- Bruno Junqueira made it three Toyotas in the top three with a third today. Combined with Brack's performance, it marks the fourth straight race that Target Chip Ganassi Racing has qualified two cars in the top five. Junqueira also continues to be the overall top qualifier in the FedEx Championship Series with an average starting position of 3.8. Today's performance marks the fourth time in five races that he's qualified in the top five and his third top-three qualifying showing of the season.
- Bruno Junqueira and pole-sitter Cristiano da Matta are the only CART drivers to start in the top 10 in each race this season.
- Each of the other four Toyota-powered entries qualified in the top 10 today, led by Christian Fittipaldi's fifth, making it two Newman-Haas entries in the top-five. Tora Takagi placed eighth overall, followed by Scott Dixon in ninth and Townsend Bell in 10th making it 7 in the top 10.
- Toyota will be looking for its fifth win in the last seven CART events in tomorrow's Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey.
- With a 10th in qualifying today, Townsend Bell has now qualified in the top 10 in four of the first five events and all three road course races this season.
- A Toyota-powered car has now been the fastest of every session of the weekend after today's qualifying session. In addition, a Toyota has been the fastest in 11 of the 13 dry practice or qualifying road course sessions run this season. Even more impressive is that five different Toyota-powered drivers have led at least one road course session this season.
#6 Cristiano da Matta, Chevron Toyota: "It was a pretty tense session for me. I've been happy with my Chevron Toyota all weekend. The car's come up to speed quickly every session. We've run eight sessions here at Laguna Seca this year (counting Sneak Preview) and we've been fastest in seven and second in the other, so I think we've got a great car for tomorrow's race."
#12 Kenny Brack, Target Toyota: "Our Target Toyota was good, but after the track became slick, I knew we couldn't go any faster. We're happy with second given the circumstance. I think we have a very good car for tomorrow's race."
Toyota Drivers Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey Overall Qualifying
1. Cristiano da Matta
2. Kenny Brack
3. Bruno Junqueira
5. Christian Fittipaldi
8. Tora Takagi
9. Scott Dixon
10. Townsend Bell
Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey, June 9, SPEED, 4:30 p.m. EDT/1:30 p.m. PDT