Juan Pablo Montoya won the 1998 F3000 season with four wins, seven pole positions, and nine podium finishes in twelve races, and was signed by Williams F1 team as test driver. For the 1999 season, in the hope of attracting more investors to the underperforming team, Frank Williams agreed to a driver swap with CART team owner Chip Ganassi, in which Ganassi’s 1997 and 1998 CART champion driver, Alessandro Zanardi, would return to Formula One and Montoya would take his place in the competitive American series. While Zanardi had a miserable year in Formula One, Montoya, with Honda power and a Reynard chassis at his disposal, took the American motorsport scene by storm. He took the 1999 title in his rookie year, something accomplished six years earlier by former Formula One Champion Nigel Mansell. Montoya won seven races and took seven pole positions in 20 races and was crowned as the youngest ever CART champion at the age of 24. The title was decided at the final race. Marlboro 500 at Fontana with Dario Franchitti who led the championship going into the final race. Montoya finished 4th while Franchitti was 12th in the race overshadowed by the death of Greg Moore. Both drivers finished the season with equal number of points but Montoya took the title by virtue of having won seven races to the Scotsman’s three.
The scale model by Action is from “4 for 4 Champions” limited edition set featuring Chip Ganassi 4 consecutive CART championship wins – Jimmy Vasser in 1996, Alex Zanardi in 1997 and 1998, and Juan Pablo Montoya in 1999.
|1999||CART / FedEx Championship Series|
|Juan Pablo Montoya||4||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|1:43||Action||4 for 4 Champions|
|100296 / 1128|