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Adrian Fernandez slices his Lola B2/00 Honda into the lead of the Monterrey Grand Prix from pole, behind is Dario Franchitti’s Reynard 02i Honda the first round of the 2002 CART Series on 10 March…

Such a picturesque location, the circuit used for this event between 2001 and 2006 was located at Fundidora Park, Monterrey the capital and largest city in the state of Nuevo León in the foothills of the Sierre Madre Oriental mountains, Mexico. The old buildings in shot are those of a disused steel mill which is both a nod to the past and indicator of the city as a current industrial centre.

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Fundidora Park panorama, Fernandez is the green/red Lola B2/00 Honda

2002 was ‘the start’ of the demise of CART, Penske Racing defected to the rival Indy Racing League at the end of 2001, starting a trend the net result of which was to weaken single seater racing in the US. A great shame as CART to me at the time was as interesting and exciting a category as F1 if not superior in its variety of circuits, circuit type (road, circuit, short and long speedways), chassis and engines. A story for another time.

The engine regs continued to mandate a 2.65 litre, single turbo-charged V8 for 2002, squabbling over the future engine specifications one of a myriad of issues causing the ‘stampede’ of teams and engine manufacturers from CART.

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Christiano da Matta, Lola B2/00 Toyota

The 2002 CART championship was won by Christiano da Matta in a factory Newman/Haas Lola B2/00 Toyota, he also won this race. Fernandez finished 13th, Dario Franchitti was 2nd in a Reynard 02i Honda and Christan Fittipaldi 3rd in the other Newman/Haas Lola B2/00 Toyota.

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da Matta Lola B2/00 Toyota, Monterrey 2002, he was on a journey which took him to F1 with Toyota

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Top shot Dario Franchitti’s Reynard 02i Honda. Podium ceremony L>R 2nd Franchitti, winner da Matta and 3rd Christian Fittipaldi

All Photo Credits…

Robert Laberge

Tailpiece…

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