Da Matta makes it two in a row from pole to victory lane. He received a stiffer challenge this week, but Cristiano da Matta still drove to victory from the pole position for the second consecutive FedEx Championship Series race. It is da Matta's...
Da Matta makes it two in a row from pole to victory lane.
He received a stiffer challenge this week, but Cristiano da Matta still drove to victory from the pole position for the second consecutive FedEx Championship Series race. It is da Matta's third triumph this season on Bridgestone tires and helped extend his lead in the season standings.
Da Matta, in the Chevron Toyota/Lola from Newman/Haas Racing, led the final 51 of 110 laps around the Portland International Raceway circuit. Da Matta was pushed hard by fellow Brazilian and childhood friend Bruno Junqueira, but held on to win by a scant 0.625 of a second.
"Today, the two Target cars were probably a little faster than us, Kenny (Brack) and Bruno," da Matta said. "But we got them in the pits, we got them on the consistency throughout the stint and they weren't able to get by us. It was good but it was far from dominant. The Bridgestone tires held up pretty well. Tire wear was good. On the second stint I felt a little drop-off in the rears but everywhere else was very good."
Bridgestone is the Official Tire of CART after entering the series this year. As such, Bridgestone Motorsport supplies Potenza racing radials to every FedEx Championship Series competitor.
Quote from Kaz Hamamura, Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development: "The Bridgestone Potenzas performed up to our expectations today, giving teams the consistent and durable stints to which they have become accustomed. It's worthwhile to point out that all of the front-runners were logging their fastest laps of the day near the end of the race, pushing each other on tires with numerous laps on them. That's strong evidence of the Potenzas' ability to hold up lap after grueling lap, and of the extreme confidence the drivers have in Bridgestone."
Quote from Bruno Junqueira, Target/Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota/Lola/ Bridgestone: "I was a little bit faster than Cristiano, but not enough to pass him. I did not want to take too much risk and he did not make any mistakes. I just made sure to keep the points for the championship. I had good tires at the end but he had good tires as well. The Bridgestone tires were perfect; no problems. I'm really pleased. The race pace was unbelievably fast and the tires just held on perfectly."
Race temperatures ranged from 85 to 88 degrees track and 68 to 69 degrees ambient (F).