Honda website
Honda website

MAY 17, 2002

da Matta takes his turn

A day after Tora Takagi got his chance behind the wheel of the Toyota TF102, fellow CART star Cristiano da Matta took his turn Friday. The 29 year old Brazilian was less than a second off Allan McNish's time in just his first time in an F1 car.

"I am very impressed with this experience," said da Matta. "I did 97 laps but I am not really tired. The car was much lighter to drive than in CART but more demanding on the neck due to much higher G-forces. The high speed corners were particularly impressive and I didn't expect such high grip levels from the grooved tires."

Takagi is a member of the Toyota powered Walker Racing team, and da Matta drives for Newman/Haas Racing, who also use Toyota engines, in the CART series. Defending Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves is expected to test for the Japanese team in the coming weeks as well. Castroneves drives for future Toyota partner, Penske in the IRL.