CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Toyota Saturday qualifying report

Instant replay - Toyotas take top-three; da Matta on pole again at Portland. - Today's top three in qualifying mirrored last weekend's results at Laguna Seca with the Toyota-powered cars of Cristiano da Matta, Kenny Brack and Bruno Junqueira ...

Instant replay - Toyotas take top-three; da Matta on pole again at Portland.

- Today's top three in qualifying mirrored last weekend's results at Laguna Seca with the Toyota-powered cars of Cristiano da Matta, Kenny Brack and Bruno Junqueira earning the top three starting spots for tomorrow's G.I. Joe's 200. Five of the top six were Toyota-powered today.

- Cristiano da Matta's pole position is the 14th for Toyota in Champ Car competition and the third of the year for a Toyota-powered entry after Bruno Junqueira took the top qualifying spot at Motegi, Japan, and da Matta earned the pole last weekend at Laguna Seca.

- Cristiano da Matta's pole today is his second straight and the second of his Champ Car career. He missed a third pole when he lost out by .003 seconds at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. With the point as today's top qualifier, he sweeps the qualifying bonus points for the weekend and now has 53 points and leads the championship by seven over second-place Michel Jourdain.

- With a second today, Kenny Brack earned his second straight front row starting spot and his fourth top-five starting position of the season.

- With Cristiano da Matta and Kenny Brack finishing 1-2 in qualifying today, it marks the fourth straight road course qualifying session that the duo have been first and second. Brack had the Friday provisional pole at Laguna with da Matta second, while the Brazilian was first in Saturday's Monterey qualifying with Brack second.

- Bruno Junqueira made it three Toyotas in the top three with a third today. Combined with Brack's performance, it marks the fifth 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 3.6. 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.

- With an fifth today, Christian Fittipaldi earned his third top-five starting position of the season and his fourth top-10 in six races.

- Today marks the third straight road course event that Toyota has qualified four cars in the top-five.

- Bruno Junqueira and pole-sitter Cristiano da Matta are the only CART drivers to start in the top 10 in each race this season. They also rank as the two top qualifiers on an average start basis.

- Toyota will be looking for its sixth win in the last eight CART events in tomorrow's G.I. Joe's 200.

- With a sixth in qualifying today, Townsend Bell has now qualified in the top 10 in five of six events and all four road course races this season.

- For the second week in a row, a Toyota-powered car has been the fastest of every session of the weekend after today's qualifying session. In addition, a Toyota has been the fastest in 14 of the 15 dry Friday and Saturday practice and qualifying road course sessions run this season. Even more impressive is that four different Toyota-powered drivers have led at least one road course session this season.

- Toyota's one-two in qualifying today marks the fifth time that two Toyota-powered cars have topped the qualifying sheets in the last six road course qualifying sessions this season.


Cristiano da Matta, #6 Chevron Toyota: "I've come a long way with Toyota engines in CART. I've never driven anything else since I've been in a Champ Car. Going through all of the development, you make a lot of close friends and it's been very rewarding. At the end of the day, it's also good to see your friends doing so well."

Kenny Brack, #12 Target Toyota: "I anticipated Toyota to be where it's at right now. I saw it last year. Their goal is to win the championship and Toyota has such great resources. It's definitely the engine to have. I think the driveablity is better and I think the power is better. The only problem is there are too many other cars that have Toyota engines, too (laughing)."

Bruno Junqueira, #4 Target Toyota: "I think Toyota is doing a very good job. Over the past two years, every race Toyota makes some improvement and they give us a better engine."

Toyota Drivers G.I. Joe's 200 Final Qualifying
1. Cristiano da Matta
2. Kenny Brack
3. Bruno Junqueira
5. Christian Fittipaldi
6. Townsend Bell
8. Tora Takagi
11. Scott Dixon

G.I. Joe's 200, June 16, CBS, 3:30 p.m. EST/12:30 p.m. PST


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Christian Fittipaldi , Scott Dixon , Tora Takagi , Kenny Brack , Townsend Bell , Chip Ganassi , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing