Rodolfo Lavin (R), ...
Rodolfo Lavin (R), #5 Corona Competition Team Ford-Cosworth XFE-Reynard-Bridgestone
Lavin drove an impressive race in today's Molson Indy Vancouver advancing from 18th to eighth position in his #5 Corona Champ Car, a new career-best finish in his rookie season with Walker Racing. Team manager Rob Edwards opted to put the rookie on a different pit strategy bringing him in early (Lap 6) in an effort to open up some opportunities for Lavin. The effort paid off as Lavin gained nine positions, one of the highest gains of the day. On Lap 76, CART Champ Car officials issued Lavin a drive-through penalty for allegedly blocking eventual third place finisher Sebastien Bourdais.
"This a great finish for the Corona Walker Racing team. We struggled a bit this weekend, but to come from 18th to eighth place, our best finish of the season, is outstanding. It's a shame about the penalty. I don't feel I was blocking. I don't think he was close enough to get by me. I wasn't trying to hold him up, I was just waiting for him to get closer to me in the breaking zones and let him by there. It's difficult to defend your own position and still let the leaders by immediately. It's still a strong finish for the team though."
Fast Facts: Posted a new career-best finish of eighth topping previous best of ninth earned at German 500, Marked his eleventh Champ Car start; Collected five points for his eighth place finish ranking him 16th in the drivers' championship with eleven points
Darren Manning, (R), #15 RAC Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth XFE-Reynard-Bridgestone
Manning ran strongly in the top-ten throughout the 100-lap race, eventually making his way through the field finishing fifth, his second top-five finish of the season. He started eighth. On Lap 46, Manning made contact with Adrian Fernandez damaging his front wing. The wing deteriorated over the next 14 laps eventually beginning to rub on the left front tire. Fortunately, Manning was able to hold on until Lap 70, to make his final stop of the day to change the wing and take on fresh rubber and fuel.
"That was a real battle. I've still got the old donuts on the side of the RAC Walker Racing car from hitting Adrian (Fernandez), unfortunately. I damage my front wing in that incident and I had to keep going with a broken wing until my final pit stop window opened up with 30 laps to go. We managed to do it, but the wing was dragging against the (left front) tire by the time we stopped. The guys did a fantastic job in that last stop; they changed the front wing in about 15 seconds including changing all four tires and fueling for the rest of the race. Eventually we battled away to fifth place."
Fast Facts: Posted his second top-five finish of the season and tenth top-ten finish, Marked his 12th Champ Car start and eleventh with Walker Racing; Manning takes over ninth place in the drivers' championship with 60 points; Collected ten points for his fifth place finish; Maintains second place standing in Rookie of the Year battle
Derrick Walker, Walker Racing team owner
"Considering the challenges that Darren and Rodolfo had to manage today and the teamwork that both the RAC Walker Racing and Corona teams maintained, it was an excellent finish for both of teams. Unfortunately, the Corona team was notified by CART that Rodolfo had been given a drive-through penalty. That cost Rodolfo a sixth place finish which would have been an even sweeter day to have the team five and six. But, it was a call that was made and we'll dwell on the positive which is both teams did a great job and both drivers put forth a strong effort."