CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Walker Racing Friday report

The Champ Car field managed to squeeze in a mostly dry provisional qualifying session for the G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway, Round 8 of the 2003 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. Dry conditions...

The Champ Car field managed to squeeze in a mostly dry provisional qualifying session for the G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway, Round 8 of the 2003 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. Dry conditions have given way to light and heavier rains periodically throughout the first day of on-track activity testing the drivers, engineers and crews abilities.

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

"The Corona car is better than this time shows. The car was feeling great, but every time my tires were up to temperature and I could put in a hot lap, it would be raining in Turns 4, 5 and 6. Hopefully tomorrow we can put up a time that better reflects what the car can do."

Fast Facts: Will mark his eighth Champ Car start, Marks his first Champ Car start at Portland, Has six previous starts at the circuit contesting races in Toyota Atlantic (2002) and Indy Lights (1996 -- 2000), Earned a new career-best start, eighth, and finish, ninth, in German 500

Engineering Update: Team manager Rob Edwards will be engineering Lavin's #5 Corona entry weekend as engineer Al Bodey returned to Indianapolis this morning due to a death in the family. Edwards, who joined Walker Racing in 1993, has engineered Walker Racing cars for Hiro Matsushita (1993), Willy T. Ribbs (1994) and Robby Gordon (1995 -- 1996). He assumed team manager responsibilities in 1997.

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

"We'd hoped that testing here earlier in the season would allow us to be in the top-ten by the end of the day on Friday and we're there, so that's good. The RAC Walker Racing car was really good. It's nice to be just be fine tuning the car at this point rather than making massive changes like we normally have to do. We need a bit more front grip, which should be easier to find, and ultimately go faster."

Fast Facts: Will be his ninth Champ Car start and eighth with Walker Racing, Earned a career-best finish of fourth at the Milwaukee race (31 May), Has six top-ten finishes to his credit in eight starts, Currently tenth in the drivers' championship with 34 points

Sponsor Update: Manning's #15 RAC Walker Racing Champ Car will sport the Air China logo on its sidepods beginning this weekend. Air China has entered into a marketing and business development agreement with Walker Racing for the remainder of the 2003 season to promote the Air China brand throughout the international market of Champ Car racing. NTN Bearing Corporation announced an associate sponsorship on Manning's car last weekend.

-wr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Robby Gordon , Willy T. Ribbs , Rodolfo Lavin