CHAMPCAR/CART: Mid-Ohio: Walker Racing race report

Rodolfo Lavin (R), ...

Rodolfo Lavin (R), #5 Corona Competition Team Ford-Cosworth XFE-Reynard-Bridgestone

With Lavin's 17th place start in Sunday's Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, team manager Rob Edwards opted to bring the #5 Corona car onto pit lane for service under the first yellow of the race, Lap 10, in an effort gain positions with an alternate pit strategy. Lavin pitted again under yellow on Lap 13 to top off on fuel. The young Mexican ran third by Lap 26 as the leaders had pitted two laps prior. Lavin was up into second place on Lap 37 when he pitted for the third time.

Unfortunately, the rookie stalled the #5 Corona car and then violated the pit lane speed limit as he got back up to speed on pit lane. He came back onto pit lane on Lap 39 for a drive through penalty falling to 16th in the standings. Lavin pitted on Laps 61 ad 77 steadily working his way into 12th place, picking up one championship point for the day.

"I'm very happy with today's effort, and not just because I got one (championship) point, but because the performance of the Corona car was incredible at the end of the race. We were running fast, consistent laps with the leaders. The car was just great. It's a shame that I stalled the engine in my third pit stop. Adrian Fernandez was on the same pit stop strategy, so without the stall, we maybe could have finished just behind him in eighth place."

Darren Manning, (R), #15 RAC Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth XFE-Reynard-Bridgestone

Manning kept on the same pit strategy as the leaders, pitting every 24 laps. With typically quick pit stops from the RAC Walker Racing pit crew and hard driving from Manning on-track, the Englishman held off a charging Max Papis in the last half of the race. For the fourth time this season (Monterrey, Mexico, Milwaukee, Wis. and Cleveland, Ohio), the RAC Walker Racing pit crew gave Manning the fastest pit stops of the race.

"Considering how bad the balance was in the race, finishing eighth from 13th, we've got to be pleased really. We picked up some more championship points. The points race right around me, from sixth to tenth, really tightened up. When we're struggling that's what you've got to think about, picking up as many points as you can without losing too many to those around you, and that's what we did."

Fast Facts:

Marks his 14th Champ Car start, Has earned six consecutive top-ten finishes, Has 12 top-ten finishes to his credit in just 14 starts, Collected five championship points for his eighth place finish, Currently ranked ninth in the championship points standings with 73 points (tied with Alex Tagliani), Ranked second in the Rookie of the Year standings

Derrick Walker, team owner, Walker Racing and owner, Reynard

"Hats off to American Spirit Team Johansson and particularly to Ryan (Hunter-Reay). I think he did an excellent job out there. The car was obviously good enough which is good news for a Reynard at Mid-Ohio. Hopefully, we can see more podium performances this season for the Reynard competitors."

Reynard Facts:

Hunter-Reay's podium is the first podium finish for Reynard since Patrick Carpentier's third place effort at the 2002 Fontana event. It was one of ten podium finishes for Reynard in 2002.

It's a new season best showing for the chassis topping Manning's fourth place finish in the Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 (31 May). Conquest Racing driver Mario Haberfeld also posted a fourth place finish at the season-opener in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Five Reynards finished in the points in Sunday's Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio.

-wr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mario Haberfeld , Darren Manning , Max Papis , Adrian Fernandez , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Rodolfo Lavin
Teams Conquest Racing