CHAMPCAR/CART: Rio; Toyota gets best ever finish

<pre> April 30, 2000 Rio 200 - Emerson Fittipaldi Speedway Toyota Race Notes Race Results Finish Qualified ...

<pre> April 30, 2000 Rio 200 - Emerson Fittipaldi Speedway Toyota Race Notes

Race Results                Finish      Qualified
#12 Jimmy Vasser            2                 6
#97 Cristiano da Matta      4                 17
#1  Juan Montoya            22                2
#10 Norberto Fontana        23                18
#96 Oriol Servia            25                14


- Jimmy Vasser's second-place finish today marks the best-ever finish by a Toyota-powered Champ Car. A yellow flag with just three laps remaining took away Vasser's last chance at making a run at the leader for the win. Vasser now has either matched or bettered Toyota's previous best finish in all three races run in 2000. He gave Toyota it's first podium finish ever with a third in the previous race at Long Beach.

- Vasser's second-place finish today keeps him in second-place in the CART points standings and draws him to just six points behind series leader Paul Tracy, 48-42.

- Cristiano da Matta had his best day of the season and matched his CART career-best with a fourth-place finish. He also finished fourth a year ago in Nazareth.

- With Vasser second and da Matta fourth, today's race marked the first time that Toyota has had more than one car finish in the top five in any single race. The previous best in any one race was at Vancouver a year ago when da Matta placed fifth and Richie Hearn was one spot behind him in sixth.

- Juan Montoya ran second for the first 31 laps today before gearbox woes sidelined him.


Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports:

"We keep getting closer - we've had a fourth, a third and a second.  Let's hope
the progression continues and puts us in the winner's circle at Japan.  Jimmy
and Cristiano both ran tremendous races today.  The Toyota engines ran
flawlessly.  Time to get ready for Motegi."

Juan Montoya, #1 Target Toyota:

"We were just cruising around in second, getting good mileage. We had plenty of power and were just waiting for the middle of the race to pick it up and go for the win. It's just one of those races."

Jimmy Vasser, #12 Target Toyota:

"I thought we had an opportunity for the win for sure, but I had problems getting past him after the second to last pit stop. I had a faster car, but could never get out in the clear. If we keep running in the top five, things are going to come our way and we're going to get that first Toyota victory."

NEXT RACE: May 14 - Firestone Firehawk 500, Motegi, Japan

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Oriol Servia , Richie Hearn , Emerson Fittipaldi , Norberto Fontana , Cristiano da Matta