CHAMPCAR/CART: Montreal: Lola Cars race report

Franchitti's cops Montreal title. Leads ten-car Lola train in premiere run at F1 circuit. In an 80-lap dash on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Dario Franchitti gained victory in the inaugural Molson Indy Montreal,his ...

Franchitti's cops Montreal title.
Leads ten-car Lola train in premiere run at F1 circuit.

In an 80-lap dash on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Dario Franchitti gained victory in the inaugural Molson Indy Montreal,his #27 Team KOOL Green Lola/Honda giving Lola its 117thwin in the CART FedEx Championship Series. The Scot led the most laps (43) around the 2.709-mile permanent road course on the Ile Notre Dame in front of 74,000 enthusiastic fans who enjoyed sunny skies and 81-82 air temperatures (track temps ranged from 92-105 degrees). Franchitti led Cristiano da Matta's #6 Havoline Lola/Toyota by 2.588-seconds to theflags, after the point leader chose alternate pit stop strategy early in the race. Tony Kanaan took third place in the #10 Pioneer/WorldCom Lola/Honda, 4.612-seconds behind the leader.

"Races like today's are always fun, when you fight for a win with someone like Cristiano," Franchitti noted. "Our strategy was better and it worked for us. What a great team effort! We got the car right just before final qualifying and Iwas able to attack on every lap." Da Matta's team elected to bring him in on lap 12, when the second caution was called. "I had fun today and I drove extremely hard all race long. Our strategy had a chance of working," he said. Kanaan's third place came "with a consistent car. Our strategy paid off and we pushed hard all race." At mid-race, he broke a header and subsequently lost his clutch, "so I didn't want that last yellow (on lap 70). This track is so fast. It takes a lot out of the car, so you need tosave it, like Surfers Paradise. I wasn't having fun this weekend until race time," after qualifying 13th.

Fourth went to Paul Tracy's #26 Team KOOL Green Lola/Honda, whose race-long battle with Kanaan and the #8 Shell Lola/Ford of Jimmy Vasser was a competitive highlight for the day. "I got the most out of the carhandling-wise, but couldn't get the mileage," Tracy said. Vasser was pleased by the improvements his team made. "We could smell a podium today but the race just didn't flow right for us." Michel Jourdain Jr. took 6thin the #9 Gigante Lola/Ford, calling it "a very long, tough day." Christian Fittipaldi, despite a stop on the pace lap in his #11 Lilly Lola/Toyota, finished 7thovercoming gearchange problems. After starting 18th, Michael Andretti brought the #39 Motorola Lola/Honda home 8th, followed by Shinji Nakano in the #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Lola/Honda and Scott Dixon's #44 Target Lola/Toyota.

The Champ Cars now travel west to the Mile High City, and will race around Denver, Colorado's Pepsi Center next Sunday, September 1stin the Grand Prix of Denver.Mailing List Software provided byMSO.net

-lola-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Shinji Nakano , Gilles Villeneuve , Cristiano da Matta , Michel Jourdain