CHAMPCAR/CART: Toyota Racing Gold Coast race day notes

<pre> Race Results Finish Qualified ...

<pre> Race Results Finish Qualified #12 Jimmy Vasser 3rd 5th #97 Cristiano da Matta 4th 10th #96 Oriol Servia 9th 14th #10 Jason Bright 18th 24th #1 Juan Montoya 24th 1st

Pole-sitter Juan Montoya's race ended early when he was taken out going into the first turn of the race when second-place Gil de Ferran made contact with the right rear tire of Montoya's car. The early departure officially knocked Montoya out of contention for his second straight Champ Car title. His Saturday pole position was his seventh of the season.

Jimmy Vasser earned his second consecutive top-three finish with a third today. It was the fourth podium showing of the season for the 1996 CART champion and kept him in the hunt for the 2000 FedEx Championship Series title heading into the season finale at Fontana. Vasser has now clinched his sixth consecutive top-10 points championship finish.

Jimmy Vasser , who turned the race's fastest lap on Lap 23, was leading past the mid-way point of the event, but any chance of a second consecutive victory were dashed when the last one-third of the race turned into a crashfest. The eventual top two finishers both stayed out on the last scheduled pit stop of the race and the following yellow flags resulted in a shortened race due to time which allowed them to avoid an expected final pit stop.

Jimmy Vasser's third is his sixth consecutive top-eight finish and makes Vasser the highest scoring CART driver during that time span. During those six races, Vasser has earned 63 points with a win, a third, a fifth, a sixth, a seventh and an eighth-place finish. Vasser also has three consecutive top-five qualifying showings.

Cristiano da Matta's fourth-place finish is his eighth top-five finish of the 2000 season - the most ever in a single season by a Toyota-powered driver.

Oriol Servia climbed as high as fourth-place today before falling to ninth late in the race - his ninth top-10 of his rookie season.

After scoring just 80 manufacturers points a year ago, Toyota has now scored 272 points this season with one race remaining - more than three times as many as its previous best season.

With his third-place finish, Jimmy Vasser moves into a tie for fifth (131 points) in the FedEx Championship Series. Juan Montoya's first-lap crash caused him to drop to ninth-place with 123 points, while Cristiano da Matta remains in 10th with 112 points.

Jim Aust , Toyota vice president of motorsports: "It was a bittersweet third and fourth-place finish for us today. We had the fastest qualifier taken out of the race on the first turn and the fastest driver in the race lose a possible victory with all the yellow flags late in the race. Jimmy and Cristiano both ran strong today and it's great to see each rewarded with a top-five finish. It's just too bad that they didn't get a chance to drive for the victory due to all the crashes."

Manufacturer's Championship: Ford 311; Honda 298; Toyota 272; Mercedes-Benz 72

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Jimmy Vasser , Oriol Servia , Jason Bright , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Toyota Racing