Lavin and Manning prepare for German 500 in season's first oval test. INDIANAPOLIS (April 2, 2003) -- Walker Racing rookies Rodolfo Lavin and Darren Manning successfully completed their first Champ Car oval test of the 2003 season at ...
Lavin and Manning prepare for German 500 in season's first oval test.
INDIANAPOLIS (April 2, 2003) -- Walker Racing rookies Rodolfo Lavin and Darren Manning successfully completed their first Champ Car oval test of the 2003 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway's 1.5-mile short oval, primarily in preparation for next month's German 500. The test was originally scheduled for two days, but gusting winds between 20 and 30 mph limited both drivers to less than 50 miles each on Monday. Tuesday's breezy, warm conditions enabled the drivers to put in a full day's testing, completing a combined 530 miles and posting times in the low 29 second range by the end of the day.
"The purpose of this test was to evaluate the EuroSpeedway wing package," said team owner Derrick Walker. "Although conditions were windy at Homestead, we managed to get a productive day of testing in and get a direction to go regarding the set-up for the unique rule change that we have this year, taking the Brands Hatch configuration straight to the oval at EuroSpeedway."
The test marks Lavin's first Champ Car outing on an oval. Some of the 25-year-old Mexican's best finishes in the Champ Car Ladder Series came on ovals, including his career-best second place Toyota Atlantic finish at Milwaukee last year.
"We weren't really able to run on Monday because it was too windy; the second day was very productive though," Lavin said. "We put in a full day, running 275 miles. The car was great and the team worked well together to keep improving the car. Overall, I am very happy with my first Champ Car oval test."
Teammate Manning hopes to build on his oval success - a ninth place finish at the 2002 Rockingham event, his Champ Car debut - with the information the test garnered. The Briton won on the Lausitz ring last year while competing in ASCAR.
"With this wing package, the car's much different from the (Champ) car I had last year at Rockingham," said Manning. "The car's easier to drive, so I think the field is going to be really tight at Lausitz. We'll be looking for hundredths and thousandths, not tenths, of a second to improve our times. Homestead is good preparation for Germany because the tracks are similar; there's very little banking and the length of the straight and corners are comparable."
Next up for the Walker Racing rookies is the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Round 3 of the 2003 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, on Sunday, April 13.
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