Da Matta Wins As Toyota Dominates Down Under In Surfers Paradise - Today's victory is the fifth of the season for Toyota - matching the program's previous best set last year - and its 10th overall. Toyota-powered cars dominated today's race - ...
Da Matta Wins As Toyota Dominates Down Under In Surfers Paradise
- Today's victory is the fifth of the season for Toyota - matching the program's previous best set last year - and its 10th overall. Toyota-powered cars dominated today's race - leading the final 44 laps of the 65-lap event with four different Toyota drivers leading the event (Roberto Moreno - 25 laps, Cristiano da Matta - 15, Scott Dixon - 3, Jimmy Vasser - 1). For the weekend, a Toyota won the pole, won the race event, led the most laps and registered the fastest race lap.
- Four of the five Toyota 2001 wins have come on road or street courses (Cristiano da Matta at Monterrey, Bruno Junqueira at Road America and Roberto Moreno at Vancouver were the others, while Scott Dixon won on the oval at Nazareth). This is Toyota's second street course victory of the year and its third in the last eight CART street races.
- Today's victory is Cristiano da Matta's (Texaco/Havoline/Kmart Toyota) second of the season and the third of his career - all coming with Toyota power. Both of da Mattta's 2001 wins have come on road or street circuits (he also won the season-opening race at Monterrey, Mexico), while his 2000 victory was on the oval at Chicago.
- The victory also marks da Matta's fourth podium finish this season and his second in the last four races. With the win, he now climbs into fifth-place in the overall CART standings.
- Australiand-born, New Zeland bred, Scott Dixon (Nextel/Powerware Toyota) clinched the CART Rookie of the Year title despite developing a gearbox problem with just two laps remaining to finish 15th. Earlier this season, Dixon became the youngest winnner in major open wheel history by winning at Nazareth at 20 years, nine months of age. For the season, he has six top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. Dixon is currently seventh overall in the CART point standings.
- Roberto Moreno (Visteon Toyota) led a race-high 25 laps and appeared to be on the way to his second victory of the year before suffering late race gearbox problems. The race pole-sitter eventually finished 22nd.
- Jimmy Vasser (Visteon Toyota) finished a strong sixth today - his third top-seven finish in the last four races. Vasser also ran the fastest lap of today's event.
- Memo Gidley (Target Toyota) earned his third consecutive top-10 finish with a 10th after climbing up from the 23rd starting position. Gidley had registered back-to-back podium finishes at Houston (third) and Laguna Seca (second) in the last two races.
- Christian Fittipaldi's (Kmart Toyota) eighth-place was his third consecutive top-10 finish and his eighth of the 2001 campaign.
Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports: "Cristiano da Matta ran a tremendous race and it's great to see a Toyota back in the winner's circle. It's unfortunate that Roberto (Moreno) developed mechanical problems or we most likely could have seen a Toyota one-two today. With the victory, we matched our previous best of five wins in a season and we'll enjoy this for a few hours, but after that we'll put all of our focus on trying to surpass that mark at the season finale at Fontana in the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota."
Next race: Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota, Fontana, Calif., Nov. 4, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN