Darren Manning: No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda * Darren Manning on racing at Infineon Raceway: "Last year we pounded around by ourselves for nearly the entire race. By the time I got pass a slower car, I had lost the lead pack and ...
Darren Manning: No. 14 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda
* Darren Manning on racing at Infineon Raceway: "Last year we pounded around by ourselves for nearly the entire race. By the time I got pass a slower car, I had lost the lead pack and there were virtually no yellows until the end of the race. It was one of our worst road course races of the season but we learned some things that helped us this year. Infineon has a lot of elevation changes but unlike the Glen where those elevation changes are on the straights, there are a lot of uphill and downhill corners at Infineon so you get the compression in the corners, which puts different demands on the car. But the more time I have in the car and the more time working with A.J., Mike [Colliver, engineer] and the ABC Supply crew, we can pinpoint the set-up quicker. The competition on the road courses is a lot greater this year with the influx of the Champ Car teams so it means more when you come away with a top-10 finish."
* Manning on racing in Nurburgring, Germany last weekend: "I had run at the Ring in my F-3000 days so I was familiar with the track even though they had changed it up a bit since the last time I raced there. The Embassy Racing team, for whom I drove, designed and built their own LMP2 chassis over the winter, but they ran into trouble with one of their suppliers so they didn't get in all of the pre-season testing that they had planned. There were some glitches that the team had to work through during the season. This past weekend's performance was the best showing yet and everyone was pretty happy with the results. I started off driving, doing a one hour stint and then turning it over to my teammate Joey Foster [a rookie] for his stint. Halfway through my second stint, I started to get a puncture on my right front tire so we pitted early and changed tires and drivers. Joey did two hours and then I did about 2.5 hours to finish the race. Our car was very reliable--it was a great milestone for the team." Manning qualified the car seventh in the LMP2 class (22nd overall) and finished fourth in class (11th overall). His teammates [Warren Hughes and Jonny Kane] started 21st and finished 14th overall. Manning will compete again with the Embassy team at Silverstone Circuit [his hometown track] in Northamptonshire, England September 12-14 which takes place on the weekend after the IndyCar Series finale at Chicagoland Speedway.
* Manning took his girlfriend Lauren Feusner to Germany for her first-ever visit to Europe. The couple (along with Manning's cousin Christian Richardson] spent the first two days touring Frankfurt before making the 1.5 hour drive to the famous race track.
* The ABC Supply Team will not return to Texas after the race at Infineon Raceway this weekend. The team will stay in California until Wednesday and then fly with The Boss to Michigan for the Belle Isle/Detroit GP next weekend.
* Kentucky performance: Darren Manning and the ABC Supply team were on their way to posting their fifth straight top-10 finish [and seventh of season] at Kentucky Speedway August 9th when the car lost power on lap 146 forcing Manning to the pits. A water pipe clamp had broken which resulted in the engine losing all its water, causing it to overheat. Manning was credited with a 19th place finish. He is currently 14th in the points.
* Past Performances on road courses in 2008: Manning qualified 11th at St. Pete and was challenging for sixth when the paddle shift mechanism experienced problems, dropping him to 13th. At Watkins Glen, Manning posted his career best finish of second after starting eighth. He had his worst start on a road course at Mid-Ohio (21st) but quickly jumped into second by lap six through pit strategy, and finished eighth. At the IndyCar Series inaugural race in Edmonton, Canada, Manning started 19th and finished 10th.
* The PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County will be shown live Sunday, August 24 at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.