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OCTOBER 7, 2002

Da Matta wins CART title

Cristiano da Matta clinched the CART title on Sunday with victory in the Grand Prix of the Americas on the streets of Miami. It was his seventh victory of the year. The Brazilian, who is expected to be confirmed as a Toyota F1 driver shortly, started sixth but moved to the front and took the lead on the 20th lap after fellow countryman Tony Kanaan was penalised for pushing Scott Dixon into a wall while defending his lead.

The victory marks a fourth CART title for the Newman Haas team, following in the footsteps of Mario Andretti (1984), Michael Andretti (1991) and Nigel Mansell (1993).

The event was a hive of activity at the weekend with visiting F1 stars Juan Pablo Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve going back to see their old friends. Montoya gave the start while Villeneuve's appearance restarted rumours that his future might still be in CART.