TOYOTA motorsports 2001 FedEx Championship Series Molson Indy Vancouver Date: Sept. 2, 2001 Broadcast: ESPN2, 6 p.m. ET (tape delay) Race Length: 90 laps for 160.290 miles Track...
2001 FedEx Championship Series
Molson Indy Vancouver
Date: Sept. 2, 2001
Broadcast: ESPN2, 6 p.m. ET (tape delay)
Race Length: 90 laps for 160.290 miles
Track Length: 1.781-mile street course
2000 Winner: Paul Tracy
Toyota's Best Finish: 5th, Cristiano da Matta, 1999
Toyota's Best Qualifying: 5th, Juan Montoya, 2000
Track Speed Records:
Qualifying: 2000, D. Franchitti (106.144 mph)
Race: 2000, Paul Tracy (85.034 mph)
Manufacturer's Championship: 1. Honda 229 2. Toyota 194 3. Ford 191
What to Look For In Vancouver:
21-YEAR-OLD DIXON SURGING IN POINTS RACE - After winning in just his third Champ Car event at Nazareth earlier this season, Scott Dixon (PowerWare/Panasonic Toyota) showed he was no typical rookie. Since then, the 21-year-old New Zealander has shown that his victory was no fluke by climbing all the way into fifth-place overall in the CART FedEx Championship Series points race. In addition to his victory, Dixon has earned a third place podium finish at Milwaukee and top-five finishes in three of his past five races and top-10 finishes in four of the last five.
Maybe more amazing is the consistency the rookie has shown. He's completed more laps than any other driver in the series (1,711 out of 1,757) and has run strong at each of the three types of courses CART races on - registering top-five finishes on an oval (1st - Nazareth, 3rd - Milwaukee), street course (5th - Toronto) and permanent road course (4th - Road America). Heading into this weekend's action, Dixon is just 28 points out of the series lead and only seven out of fourth. In addition, he leads the CART Rookie standings over Bruno Junqueira by 35 points heading into Vancouver.
TOYOTA-POWERED ROOKIES MAKE HISTORY - When Bruno Junqueira (Target Toyota) registered his first Champ Car victory at Road America to join Scott Dixon as rookie winners in 2001, it marked the first time that two rookies had won in the same CART season since 1995. Andre Ribeiro and Gil de Ferran last registered the feat six years ago. The only other times it has happened were in 1982 when Bobby Rahal and Hector Rebaque both win in their debut CART seasons and in 1983 when John Paul Jr. and Teo Fabi were rookie winners.
GANASSI'S EYE FOR ROOKIES - Bruno Junqueira's victory at Road America once again gave proof that few people in motorsports have a better eye for talent than Chip Ganassi. In CART history, 13 drivers have won in their rookie seasons of Champ Car competition, but only nine in the past 17 seasons. In the past six years, only four rookie CART drivers have won races - three of them coming for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in Alex Zanardi, Juan Montoya and now Junqueira.
FINISH WHAT YOU START - The key in racing has always been to be there at the finish - and two Toyota-powered drivers have been there more than any other drivers in the series. Scott Dixon and Roberto Moreno (Visteon Toyota) currently rank one-two in laps completed during the 2001 FedEx Championship Series season. Dixon has finished 97.3 percent of the laps run this season, while Moreno's not far behind with 96.2 percent completed.
ORSI ATTEMPTS TO WRAP UP TOYOTA ATLANTIC CROWN - Coming off a third straight victory at Road America, Hoover Orsi can clinch the 2001 Toyota Atlantic Championship with a victory at Vancouver. Orsi has won five of the last seven Atlantic races and has finished first or second in eight of the nine races this season on his way to building up a 47-point advantage (156-109) over Canadian David Rutledge with three races remaining. Both Orsi and 2000 Toyota Atlantic champion Buddy Rice have been mentioned prominently for 2002 Champ Car rides.
Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports: "It was great to get back to the Winner's Circle in the last race at Road America. Now, we want to develop some consistency and make that a regular occurrence. After winning five times last year, we've won three times this season, and I think we're certainly capable of matching or bettering last year's win results."