CHAMPCAR/CART: Laguna Seca: Walker Racing preview

The Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford officially enters the busy summer months with nine races in the next 12 weeks. The Walker Racing squad returns to Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway with rookies Rodolfo Lavin and Darren...

The Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford officially enters the busy summer months with nine races in the next 12 weeks. The Walker Racing squad returns to Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway with rookies Rodolfo Lavin and Darren Manning for the Grand Prix of Monterrey on Sunday, 15 June. Lavin hopes to capitalize on his Toyota Atlantic experience at the driver-favorite road course to earn a strong finish in his #5 Corona Competition machine. While teammate Darren Manning, driver of the #15 RAC Walker Racing Champ Car, looks to continue his streak of strong finishes which has seen the British rookie earn a new career-best finish in the last two races.

Rodolfo Lavin (R), #5 Corona Competition Team Ford-Cosworth XFE-Reynard-Bridgestone
"Laguna Seca is one of my favorite tracks. I had two good finishes during my years in Toyota Atlantic and hope to have similar success in the #5 Corona car this year. I think the track is going to be very exciting to drive in the Champ Car with the corkscrew and the fast corners at Turns 9 and 10. I've heard the race is very physically demanding so I've increased my time in the gym to better prepare myself."

Fast Facts: Will mark his seventh Champ Car start, While the 15 June event will mark his first Champ Car start at Laguna Seca, Lavin has seven previous starts at the circuit contesting races in Toyota Atlantic (2001 -- 2002) and Indy Lights (1996 -- 2000), Earned two consecutive top-ten finishes during his Toyota Atlantic runs at the circuit finishing seventh in 2002 and sixth in 2001, Earned a new career-best start, eighth, and finish, ninth, in German 500

Darren Manning (R), #15 RAC Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth XFE-Reynard-Bridgestone
"Laguna Seca is so popular in Europe. It's very similar to a lot of the race tracks over there -- very undulating, a lot of ups and downs, and obviously there's the famous corkscrew. It's a race track that I remember from watching Champ Car races in the UK. I'd say it's probably going to be one of my favorite tracks this year. It's certainly one I've been looking forward to. I'm looking forward to getting back on a proper road course circuit, and especially after tenth, sixth and fourth . . . first should be just around the corner."

Fast Facts: Will be his eighth Champ Car start and seventh with Walker Racing, Earned a new career-best finish of fourth at the Milwaukee race (31 May) which marked his fifth consecutive top-ten effort, Has earned six top-ten finishes in seven starts, Currently ninth in the drivers' championship and second in the Rookie of the Year battle, The #15 RAC Walker Racing pit crew gave Manning the fastest pit stops of the Milwaukee weekend -- a feat the team also achieved at Monterrey, Mexico

Happy Father's Day: Both drivers look forward to giving their dads a little something extra to celebrate on Father's Day this year (Sunday, 15 June). Rodolfo Lavin Sr. and Peter Manning have played integral roles in their sons' careers. Rodolfo Sr. owns a shifter kart track in the family's hometown of San Luis Potosi, Mexico. It was on that track that Rodolfo Jr.'s passion for auto racing began when he took his first laps at age four. Since then, Rodolfo Sr. has actively supported his son's career by serving as his manager. Rodolfo Sr. attends all the Champ Car World Series races with his son. Similarly, karting in England was a father-son outing for Peter Manning and his son, Darren. The good-natured competitive activity quickly became a more serious passion for young Darren, and Peter has supported Darren's efforts to make racing his profession. While Peter won't be able to make the trip from England for this weekend's event, he will be talking frequently with his son via the cell phone.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Rodolfo Lavin , Peter Mann