Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) was formed in 1979 to sanction American open-wheel car racing. By 1999, the series was very strong, with FedEx taking on the role of the primary sponsor.

Variety was a critical element of the championship’s success.

There were a number of different chassis used by the teams:

  • Reynard 99I
  • Swift 010.c
  • Lola B99/00
  • Eagle 997
  • Penske PC27-B

There were also several engine choices available:

  • Honda HRS
  • Ford-Cosworth XD
  • Mercedes IC 108E3
  • Toyota RV8D

In addition to the availability of diverse chassis and engine combinations, there was also competition between the tire companies Firestone and Goodyear.

All these variables contributed to five year-end awards:

  • Drivers' champion
  • Constructors' Cup
  • Manufacturers' Cup
  • Nations' Cup
  • Rookie of the Year

In 1999 the series traveled to twenty circuits, with five tracks located outside the United States (two in Canada, one in Australia, one in Brazil and one in Japan). Round thirteen at Detroit’s Belle Isle was an addition to this season’s calendar.

  • Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami – Homestead, Florida
  • Firestone Firehawk 500 – Motegi, Japan
  • Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – Long Beach, California
  • Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix – Nazareth, Pennsylvania
  • Grand Prix Rio Telemar Rio 200 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Motorola 300 – Madison, Illinois
  • Miller Lite 225 – West Allis, Wisconsin
  • Budweiser/G.I. Joe’s 200 – Portland, Oregon
  • Medic Drug Grand Prix of Cleveland – Cleveland, Ohio
  • Texaco/Havoline 200 – Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
  • Molson Indy Toronto – Toronto, Ontario
  • U.S. 500 – Brooklyn, Michigan
  • Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix – Detroit, Michigan
  • Miller Lite 200 – Lexington, Ohio
  • Target Grand Prix of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
  • Molson Indy Vancouver – Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Honda Grand Prix of Monterey – Monterey California
  • Texaco Grand Prix of Houston – Houston, Texas
  • Honda Indy 300 – Surfers Paradise, Australia
  • Marlboro 500 – Fontana, California

    Toronto was round eleven of the twenty-race Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) series. It had been a very competitive season with seven different race winners in its first ten events. The track is an eleven-turn 1.755-mile temporary street circuit at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. The ninety-five-lap event, sponsored by Molson Breweries, proved quite a challenge for teams as only sixteen of the twenty-seven starters were running at the finish.

    Below are images from a pitlane walk at Exhibition Place during the 1999 Molson Indy event.

The No. 27 Reynard 99I, with a Honda HRS engine, was driven by Dario Franchitti. Franchitti joined the team last season and scored three victories – Elkhart Lake, Vancouver and Houston. At round eleven in Toronto, he qualified second fastest. However, Franchitti moved into the lead on lap-1 at turn three and went flag-to-flag for the win. The result moved him to within seven points of the championship leader, Juan Montoya.
Finishing behind Dario Franchitti was his teammate and the hometown hero, Paul Tracy, qualified sixth fastest. Tracy drove the No. 26 KOOL sponsored Reynard 99I. He joined Team KOOL Green last season with little success; his best result was a fifth-place finish and thirteenth in the final standings. In 1999, he collected a victory in round seven at Milwaukee.
The winner of the most recent event on the 1999 FedEx Championship calendar was Christian Fittipaldi. Fittipaldi, piloting the No. 11 Newman/Haas Racing Ford-Cosworth XD powered Swift 010.c, qualified fourth fastest at Elkhart Lake and led the last seven laps for the victory. At Toronto, the former Formula 1 driver was fifth fastest during the qualifying session and captured the final position on the rostrum.
Earning the pole at Toronto and his second of the season was Gil de Ferran in the No. 5 Walker Racing Reynard 99I. In addition, de Ferran was the fastest qualifier at Firestone Firehawk 500 in Japan and won round eight a Portland International Raceway. He lost the lead of the race on the first lap but ran second early in the event. After hitting a tire in the pit lane, de Ferran fell out of contention and retired on lap-71.
Another favourite for the Canadian fans to cheer for was Greg Moore. He was joined by fellow Canadian Patrick Carpentier at Forsythe Racing. Moore raced the No. 99 Player’s sponsored Reynard 99I powered by a Mercedes IC 108E3. He dominated the opening weekend of the season with a pole and victory at the Grand Prix of Miami. Toronto would not be one of Moore’s best events. He retired with a cooling related issue.
Honda was the dominant engine supplier in 1998. Their Honda HRK Turbocharged V8 scored fourteen victories and earned the company its second consecutive Manufacturer’s Championship. The motor also powered the top three drivers in the final standings. Honda’s latest version, the HRS, was used by Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Team KOOL Green, Walker Racing and McDonald’s Championship Racing.
Roberto Moreno has many open-wheel titles, including the 1988 Formula 3000 championship. His racing resume includes stints in Formula 1 and CART, but he is probably best known for the moniker ‘Super Sub.’ Moreno often filled in for injured drivers. In 1999, he took Mark Blundell’s seat at PacWest Racing for eight events after Blundell was injured in a testing accident. Moreno started seventeenth at Toronto and finished fourth.
Since 1989 Michael Andretti has had five victories (1989, 1991, 1992, 1994 and 1995) at Toronto. It appeared that he would be the best bet for adding another win to his impressive list. However, that was not the case this year. Earlier in the season Andretti, captured first place at Gateway, driving the No. 6 Newman/Haas Racing Swift 010.c. In Toronto, he started third and retired on lap-3 after contact with Gregg Moore.
In the off-season, Juan Pablo Montoya left the F3000 series in favour of CART. Montoya joined the Chip Ganassi team driving the No. 4 Target Reynard 99I, which was powered by a Honda HRS. He was sensational in his rookie season, scoring four victories before the championship made its stop at Toronto. In round eleven, Montoya qualified eighth but retired after contact on lap-59.

12Dario FranchittiReynard 99I / Honda HRS95-
26Paul TracyReynard 99I / Honda HRS95-
35Christian FittipaldiSwift 010.c / Ford-Cosworth XD95-
417Roberto MorenoReynard 99I / Mercedes IC 108E395 -
518Max PapisReynard 99I / Ford-Cosworth XD95-
623Adrian FernandezReynard 99I / Ford-Cosworth XD95-
711Scott PruettReynard 99I / Toyota RV8D95-
84Jimmy VasserReynard 99I / Honda HRS95-
925Al Unser, Jr.Lola B99/00 / Mercedes IC 108E395-
1029P.J. JonesSwift 010.c / Ford-Cosworth XD95-
1112Patrick CarpentierReynard 99I / Mercedes IC 108E395-
1215Memo GidleyReynard 99I / Honda HRS95-
1322Robby GordonSwift 010.c / Toyota RV8D95-
1416Mauricio GugelminReynard 99I / Mercedes IC 108E395-
159Bryan HertaReynard 99I / Ford-Cosworth XD93-
1621Richie HearnReynard 99I / Toyota RV8D93-
177Tony KanaanReynard 99I / Honda HRS92Accident
1827Dennis VitoloReynard 99I / Ford-Cosworth XD82Transmission
191Gil de FerranReynard 99I / Honda HRS71Accident
2010Greg MooreReynard 99I / Mercedes IC 108E366Cooling System
2119Michel Jourdain Jr.Lola B99/00 / Ford-Cosworth XD59Accident
228Juan MontoyaReynard 99I / Honda HRS59Accident
2326Shigeaki HattoriReynard 99I / Mercedes IC 108E356Accident
2413Cristiano da MattaReynard 99I / Toyota RV8D29Accident
2524Gaulter SallesEagle 997 / Toyota RV8D25Transmission
263Michael AndrettiSwift 010.c / Ford-Cosworth XD11Accident
2714Helio CastronevesLola B99/00 / Mercedes IC 108E310Transmission

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