In 2001 the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) were in the fourth year of their agreement with primary sponsor FedEx. The series was called the CART FedEx Championship.

The twenty-one race season kicked off on March 11th in Monterrey, Mexico, and ended at Fontana, California, on November 4th. Along with North America stops, the series visited Mexico, Japan, Germany, England and Australia.

  • March 11 - Parque Fundidora
  • April 8 - Long Beach Street Circuit
  • April 29 - Texas Motor Speedway
  • May 6 - Nazareth Speedway
  • May 19 - Twin Ring Motegi
  • June 3 - The Milwaukee Mile
  • June 17 - The Raceway on Belle Isle Park
  • June 24 - Portland International Raceway
  • July 1 - Burke Lakefront Airport
  • July 15 - Exhibition Place
  • July 22 - Michigan International Speedway
  • July 29 - Chicago Motor Speedway
  • August 12 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • August 19 - Road America
  • September 2 - Pacific Place
  • September 15 - EuroSpeedway Lausitz
  • September 22 - Rockingham Speedway
  • October 7 - Houston Street Circuit
  • October 14 - Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
  • October 28 - Surfers Paradise Street Circuit
  • November 4 - California Speedway

The two chassis suppliers in 2001 were Reynard and Lola. The Reynard 01i was a popular choice, with many teams also relying on the new Lola B1/100 and last year’s B2K/00.

Engines were available from Honda (Honda HR-1), Ford (Ford-Cosworth XF) and Toyota (Toyota RV8E). All motors were built to similar specifications – fuel-injected turbocharged eight-cylinders with an aluminum engine block and DOHC cylinder heads. The engine use methanol racing fuel, producing approximately 800-horsepower.

All cars competed on Firestone tires.

In addition to the Driver’s Championship, there are also awards for the Nation’s Cup, Chassis Constructor’s Cup and Engine Manufacturer’s Cup. Finally, for the crews, there was the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge.

Round nine of the twenty-one CART FedEx Championship season, was conducted at Toronto’s Exhibition Place, which was the series sixteenth annual visit to the track. The ninety-five lap contest around the eleven turn 1.755-mile temporary street circuit was called the Molson Indy.

Michael Andretti had little reason to be optimistic about scoring his seventh victory at Toronto after qualifying in the thirteenth spot. On the opening lap, Andretti had contact with Scott Dixon at the end of Lakeshore Boulevard. The incident placed him at the rear of the field. The team laid out a new race strategy and Andretti began moving forward. By lap-71, he was in the lead and collected his first win of the 2001 season.
Three Canadians entered in the event and it was second-year CART competitor Alex Tagliani who earned the best finish with a runner-up result. It was also his highest CART FedEx finish. Tagliani, driving the No. 33 Forsythe Racing Reynard 01i / Ford Cosworth XF qualified fifth fastest, his best performance of the year. Conserving fuel at the end of the race, he finished 2.741-seconds behind Andretti.
Adrian Fernandez earned his first CART FedEx victory in 1996 at Toronto with Tasman Motorsports. Last year, Fernandez had his best season, finishing second in the title chase. In 2001, he formed his own team called Fernandez Racing. Heading into Toronto, his best result was a fifth at The Milwaukee Mile. In qualifying, Fernandez set the seventh time and benefited from attrition to grab the final spot on the podium.
The reigning CART FedEx series champion, was Team Penske’s, Gil de Ferran. De Ferran was having a challenge attempting to defend his title. At Toronto, he topped the timesheets in practice and again in qualifying. Piloting the No. 1 Marlboro sponsored Reynard 01i / Honda HR-1, de Ferran grabbed the lead heading into the first turn. After running first for most of the race, he collided with Cristiano da Matta and retired.
Helio Castroneves drove the No. 3 Marlboro Reynard 01i / Honda HR-1. Unlike his teammate, Gil de Ferran, he had victories at Long Beach and Detroit and was second in the standings. At Toronto, Castroneves qualified next to the pole-sitter, de Ferran. He led a total of fifteen laps before the Honda engine failed. Castroneves was relegated to a nineteenth place finish and lost a position in the standings.
The points leader entering round nine was Kenny Brack. Brack had amassed an impressive record in the first half of the season, four podium results, of which three were victories. In the qualifying session at Toronto, he turned the third-fastest time. During the race, he was in contention when a battery issue caused him to retire on lap-63. Brack still led the championship, but Michael Andretti was within eleven points.
Dario Franchitti joined Team Green in 1998; the following season, he finished second in the championship, collecting one of his wins in Toronto. This year he was driving the No. 27 Reynard 01i / Honda HR-1. Franchitti was victorious in the previous round at Cleveland, but Toronto would be an event that he would sooner forget. After starting sixth, he retired on lap-31 with an oil pressure problem.
After winning the CART FedEx crown in 1997 and 1998, Alex Zanardi left Ganassi Racing for Formula 1. The change was frustrating and he returned to the series in 2001 with Mo Nunn Racing driving the No. 66 Reynard 01i / Honda HR-1. The weekend in Toronto did not start well as he crashed in the second practice session and qualified twenty-fourth. In the race, Zanardi charged through the field and finished fourth.

113Michael AndrettiReynard 01i / Honda HR-195-
25Alex TaglianiReynard 01i / Ford Cosworth XF95-
37Adrian FernandezReynard 01i / Honda HR-195-
424Alex ZanardiReynard 01i / Honda HR-195-
510Scott DixonReynard 01i / Toyota RV8E95-
68Paul TracyReynard 01i / Honda HR-195-
719Mauricio GugelminReynard 01i / Toyota RV8E95-
821Max PapisLola B1/00 / Ford Cosworth XF95-
926Shinji NakanoReynard 01i / Honda HR-195-
104Tony KanaanReynard 01i / Honda HR-194Fuel
119Roberto MorenoReynard 01i / Toyota RV8E94-
1214Christian FittipaldiLola B1/00 / Toyota RV8E93-
1320Bruno JunqueiraLola B1/00 / Toyota RV8E77Accident
141Gil de FerranReynard 01i / Honda HR-1112Accident
1517Cristiano da MattaLola B1/00 / Toyota RV8E76Accident
1618Michel Jourdain, Jr.Lola B1/00 / Ford Cosworth XF76Accident
1723Memo GidleyLola B1/00 / Toyota RV8E71Accident
1815Bryan HertaReynard 01i / Ford Cosworth XF67Electrical
192Helio CastronevesReynard 01i / Honda HR-166Engine
203Kenny BrackLola B1/00 / Ford Cosworth XF61Engine
2112Patrick CarpentierReynard 01i / Ford Cosworth XF52Accident
2222Tora TakagiReynard 01i / Toyota RV8E46Accident
2311Oriol ServiaLola B1/00 / Ford Cosworth XF40Accident
246Dario FranchittiReynard 01i / Honda HR-131Engine
2525Max WilsonLola B2K/00 / Ford Cosworth XF31Accident
2616Jimmy VasserReynard 01i / Toyota RV8E4Accident

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