CHAMPCAR/CART: Montreal: Toyota race report

Da Matta, Toyota finish second at Montreal. - A gamble in team pit strategy failed and cost Cristiano da Matta and Toyota a possible victory today, but the combination rallied to finish second as da Matta extended his championship leadto 55 ...

Da Matta, Toyota finish second at Montreal.

- A gamble in team pit strategy failed and cost Cristiano da Matta and Toyota a possible victory today, but the combination rallied to finish second as da Matta extended his championship leadto 55 points with just six races remaining. Da Matta, the pole-sitter, made his first pit stop under yellow just shy of the pit window, forcing him to pit one more time than eventual winner DarioFranchitti. A late yellow gave da Matta one last chance for the victory, but he was blocked by lapped traffic and never able to make a run at the leader.

- Cristiano da Matta (Havoline Toyota) earned his seventh top-two finish of the season and extends his points lead to 55 points over Dario Franchitti, 161-106. Da Matta officially eliminates three drivers from championship contention today Mario Dominguez, Oriol Servia and Townsend Bell.

- Christian Fittipaldi (Lilly Toyota) registered his seventh top-seven finish of the season with a seventh-place showing today. The effort keeps Fittipaldi in the top five in points, giving his Newman/Haas race team the only pair of teammates in the top five.

- Three Toyota-powered drivers now rank in the top five in CART points with just six races remaining. Toyota pilots Cristiano da Matta, Bruno Junqueira and Christian Fittipaldi rank first, third and fifth, respectively. Junqueira is four points out of second and 60 behind da Matta in first. Fittipaldi sits 16 points behind the third-place Junqueira.

- With the second-place finish, Toyota continues to lead the CART Manufacturer's Championship with a 24-point advantage over Honda,226-202. Ford is third 52 points behind with 174.

Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports: "It's somewhat disappointing to finish second in a race we probably should have won, but the fastest car doesn't always win. We don't have much time to dwell on this one, though, we need to turn our focus toward putting a Toyota inthe Winner's Circle in Denver."

<pre> Toyota Drivers Start/Finish Cristiano da Matta 1/2 Christian Fittipaldi 11/7 Scott Dixon 7/10 Bruno Junqueira 3/13 Tora Takagi 13/14 Oriol Servia 14/16 Kenny Brack 5/18

Next Race: Grand Prix of Denver, Sept. 1, SPEED, 3:00 p.m. EDT

-toyota-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Christian Fittipaldi , Scott Dixon , Oriol Servia , Tora Takagi , Kenny Brack , Townsend Bell , Mario Dominguez , Cristiano da Matta