CHAMPCAR/CART: Montreal: Bridgestone race report

Franchitti christens Montreal event by winning inaugural CART race. Dario Franchitti pushed his car to the limit each and every lap, and coupled with superior pit strategy it enabled the Team Kool Green driver to win the first Molson Indy ...

Franchitti christens Montreal event by winning inaugural CART race.

Dario Franchitti pushed his car to the limit each and every lap, and coupled with superior pit strategy it enabled the Team Kool Green driver to win the first Molson Indy Montreal. Driving a Honda/Lola on Bridgestone tires, Franchitti led 43 of the 80 laps at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and crossed the finish line 2.588 seconds ahead of runner-up Cristiano da Matta.

It is the ninth win of Franchitti's FedEx Championship Series career and second this season on Bridgestone tires (the first was last month at Vancouver). It also marked the first time Franchitti's mother witnessed him win a race in person since a 1984 Scottish karting event.

"We knew the car was good this morning (in warm-up)," Franchitti said. "The guys gave me perfect pit stops and our pit strategy worked out today. I drove the wheels off the thing. We were driving flat out all the way and the Bridgestone tires held up great the whole day. Today I think we had the quickest car. This is what it takes to win races, to have everything go perfect all day."

Kyle Moyer, Franchitti's team manager, was in complete agreement on the Potenza race tires. "The Bridgestones are really, really good this weekend," Moyer said. "They're just fantastic!"

All 18 cars in Sunday's race were equipped with Bridgestone Potenza racing radials. Bridgestone, the Official Tire of CART, entered the FedEx Championship Series this season.

Kaz Hamamura, Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development: "Today's huge and appreciative crowd witnessed the Bridgestone tires at their best. With the different pit strategies, the leaders were pushing their hardest every lap to gain the most track position. The drivers said it was like a qualifying run on each lap. This puts a tremendous strain on the tires but the Bridgestone Potenzas made it a smooth and consistent effort for every stint. We will analyze the tire performance data gathered from racing on this circuit for the first time this weekend, but it certainly appears like the Bridgestone race tire development staff made the best call on tire selection once again."

Race temperatures ranged from 92 to 105 degrees track and from 81 to 82 degrees ambient (F). Race temperatures ranged from 33 to 41 degrees track and 27 to 28 degrees ambient (C).

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Cristiano da Matta