CHAMPCAR/CART: Toyota Sneak Preview Sunday notes

MONTEREY, Calif. - Cristiano da Matta (Havoline Toyota) and Toyota made it a clean sweep of the weekend, finishing on top of the time charts in both test sessions today, along with the two run yesterday, in the two-day CART Sneak Preview at Laguna...

MONTEREY, Calif. - Cristiano da Matta (Havoline Toyota) and Toyota made it a clean sweep of the weekend, finishing on top of the time charts in both test sessions today, along with the two run yesterday, in the two-day CART Sneak Preview at Laguna Seca Raceway.

Da Matta's top time today (68.981 seconds/116.707 mph) was more than a half second faster than any other driver registered over the weekend. In today's afternoon session, da Matta led a Toyota assault that saw seven of the top eight drivers campaigning Toyota RV8F engines.

"Everyone on the team was very happy with the results of the weekend, but we still have a lot of things to work on before the first race," said da Matta. "Our team is back almost intact from last year. The Toyota engine has been very good, the chassis is working well and I feel very comfortable with the team."

Second-year driver Bruno Junqueira (Target Toyota) joined da Matta in the top three today after placing fourth on Saturday. He was followed by fellow Toyota drivers Oriol Servia, Christian Fittipaldi, Townsend Bell (Visteon Toyota), Kenny Brack (Target Toyota) and Tora Takagi (Pioneer Toyota) in positions four through eight.

"The weekend was important for us for two reasons," said Junqueira. "With the entire field here this weekend, it was the first opportunity to compare ourselves with everyone else. Second, it came at a track that we race at later in the season. The Toyota engine is feeling very strong and I'm very happy with it. I've got a new engineer this year in Bill Pappas and it's only our second time on the track and to be fast this quickly feels good."

The CART FedEx Championship Series is scheduled to kick off the 2002 campaign at Monterrey, Mexico, on March 10.

-toyota-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Christian Fittipaldi , Oriol Servia , Tora Takagi , Kenny Brack , Townsend Bell , Cristiano da Matta