Toyota Motorsports 2001 Cart Fedex Championship Series Molson Indy Date: July 15, 2001 Broadcast: ESPN 1 p.m. ET/ 10 a.m. PT Race Length: 95 laps for 166.725 miles Track Length: ...
2001 Cart Fedex Championship Series
Date: July 15, 2001
Broadcast: ESPN 1 p.m. ET/ 10 a.m. PT
Race Length: 95 laps for 166.725 miles
Track Length: 1.755-mile street course
2000 Winner: Michael Andretti
Toyota's Best Finish: 4th, Cristiano da Matta, 2000
Toyota's Best Qualifying: 2nd, Cristiano da Matta, 2000
Track Speed Records:
Qualifying: 1999, Gil de Ferran (110.565 mph)
Race: 2000, Andretti (98.248 mph)
1. Honda 136
2. Toyota 132
3. Ford 114
WHAT TO LOOK FOR AT TORONTO:
MORENO LOOKS TO CONTINUE HOT STREAK - Roberto Moreno (Visteon Toyota) heads to Toronto on the strength of three consecutive top-10 finishes, including podium finishes at both Detroit and Portland. The Brazilian could easily have had a streak of three straight podium finishes, and possibly a win at Cleveland, had he not had the misfortune of hitting the tire barrier while trying to avoid a competitor spinning in front of him in the late stages of the race.
Moreno had just run the fastest lap of the race and was closing quickly on leader Dario Franchitti and second-place Herta at the time. In addition, Moreno was the only one of the three who was not forced to save fuel at the time. Despite a slow start to the season, Moreno has clawed his way back into the top 10 in points - currently sitting 10th, just 15 points out of fourth.
THE GIDLEY SHOW CONTINUES - A month ago, Memo Gidley was an unemployed racecar driver pounding the paddocks looking for work. This weekend, he arrives in Toronto coming off a dominant drive and a podium finish in Cleveland. The California native led 59 of the Cleveland race's 100-laps in his Target Toyota and had opened up more than a 25-second lead before a late-race pit stop dropped him well back in the field. Despite the stop, Gidley moved all the way into second place and was closing in for the win when he fell short (.303 seconds) at the checkered flag.
LAST YEAR AT TORONTO - Cristiano da Matta issued his statement to the CART world that he had arrived at Toronto in 2000. The 1998 Indy Lights champion earned his first front-row starting position with a second and then went on to lead the first 73 laps on his way to an eventual fourth-place finish. After leading the first laps of his CART career in Toronto, he went on to earn his first Champ Car victory two races later in Chicago.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN - A year ago, Toyota enjoyed its greatest success on the oval tracks - winning four of the last five oval races. This year, Toyota's prowess has moved on to the road courses. In five road course events this season, the manufacturer has earned six podium finishes including one win, three seconds and two thirds. What makes the feat even more impressive is that four different drivers from three different teams have at least one road course podium this year.
TOYOTA DRIVERS MAKE UP HALF OF CART TOP 10 - Five Toyota drivers currently rank in the top 10 overall in points heading into Toronto, while only eight Toyota-powered drivers have started every event this year.
Cristiano da Matta leads the contingent in fifth, followed by Jimmy Vasser in seventh, Christian Fittipaldi in eighth, Scott Dixon in ninth and Roberto Moreno in 10th. Both da Matta (Mexico) and Dixon (Nazareth) have victories this season.
ROOKIE POINTS - Twenty-year-old rookie Scott Dixon (PacWest Toyota) continues to lead the CART rookie standings with a 44-23 advantage over Target Chip Ganassi first-year man Bruno Junqueira.
Cristiano da Matta, #6 Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota: "We are confident that we will be competitive at Toronto. I was strong there last year and led the race (74 of 112 laps), and Newman/Haas ended up winning it, so that combination should help us. I'm looking forward to results equaling the effort there."
Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports: "We seem to have someone new step up for us every week. In fact, we've had three different Toyota drivers earn their first podium finishes of the season in the last three races. Obviously, it's going to hurt us that CART's new pop-off valve won't be available to regulate turbo boost pressure for the next three races, but that simply means we're going to work that much harder to win at Toronto."