CHAMPCAR/CART: Toyota Monterrey race report

Cristiano da Matta drove his Texaco/Havoline Toyota to 1.982 second-victory in the CART FedEx Championship Series in Monterrey, Mexico. The victory is da Matta's second career victory and his first with Newman/Haas Racing in his debut start...

Cristiano da Matta drove his Texaco/Havoline Toyota to 1.982 second-victory in the CART FedEx Championship Series in Monterrey, Mexico. The victory is da Matta's second career victory and his first with Newman/Haas Racing in his debut start with the team. Da Matta also led a race-high 31 laps on his way to the win.

Today's victory is the sixth for Toyota and it's sixth in the last 16 Champ Car races. In addition, the win is the manufacturer's first on a permanent road course and its second road/street course victory overall. Jimmy Vasser won Toyota's first street course race last season at Houston.


1Tora Takagi was the highest finisher among six Champ Car rookies with a 10th today in his first CART start in the Pioneer Toyota for Walker Racing. Nic Minassian also scored points in his FedEx Championship debut with an 11th in the Target Toyota for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

Jimmy Vasser made it three Toyota's in the top-10 with a strong sixth-place finish today in his debut race with Patrick Racing.

Scott Dixon led 14 laps in his first Champ Car start in the PowerWare/PacWest Toyota. The 20-year-old New Zealander was on pace to score championship points until running out of fuel on the last lap of the event.

Overall, Toyota-powered cars led a 45 of 78 laps in today's Tecate Telmet Grand Prix. Toyota led the series in laps led a year ago.

Cristiano da Matta, Texaco/Havoline Toyota: "My engine was as strong at the end of the race as it was at the beginning - and that's normal with the Toyota. I've been with Toyota since I began (in Champ Cars) and we never seem to lose any performance during the race

Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports: "It's great to start the season off with a victory. Cristiano was terrific all weekend - of course, we've known that for two years. It's a credit to the whole Newman/Haas team to roll off the truck fast and maintain it. We actually enjoyed some success with all of our teams today with Jimmy Vasser, Tora Takagi and Nicolas Minassian all in the points and Scott Dixon running up front like he did in his first start. I think that's a great sign that we're going significant contributions from all of our teams and drivers this season.

NEXT RACE: TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH, April 8, ABC - 4 p.m. (ET)

<pre> Toyota results

Race Results            Start/Finish                            Start/Finish
 #6 Cristiano da Matta      2/1         #17 Mauricio Gugelmin       17/15
#40 Jimmy Vasser            9/6         #11 Christian Fittipaldi    16/20
 #5 Tora Takagi            25/10         #4 Bruno Junqueira        20/22
#12 Nic Minassian           21/11       #20 Roberto Moreno          10/27
#18 Scott Dixon             14/13

Manufacturer's Championship: 1. Toyota 21; 2. Honda 16; 2. Ford 11; 4. Phoenix 0

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Roberto Moreno , Christian Fittipaldi , Scott Dixon , Mauricio Gugelmin , Tora Takagi , Chip Ganassi , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing