John Walko Racing 2007 testing plans

Star Mazda Champions JWR Launch 2007 Testing Program Rotax Junior Grand National Champ Megenbier Tests with JWR TRAFFORD, PA (November 6, 2006) -- Just two weeks after winning the Star Mazda Team Championship in their first season, the John...

Star Mazda Champions JWR Launch 2007 Testing Program
Rotax Junior Grand National Champ Megenbier Tests with JWR

TRAFFORD, PA (November 6, 2006) -- Just two weeks after winning the Star Mazda Team Championship in their first season, the John Walko Racing crew was hard at work again. The team set up shop at their home track, BeaveRun Motorsports Complex, to take advantage of some clear fall days in advance of their scheduled testing program.

The first driver on track this testing season was recently crowned Rotax Junior Grand National Champion Timmy Megenbier. The Melrose Park, Illinois driver recently earned an invitation to do test drives for the 2007 Red Bull Junior Team and will travel to Lisbon, Portugal to test his skills.

Megenbier also was coming off of a successful stint in the Skip Barber National series, where he scored a second and fourth in the final two races at Road America on the same weekend he won the Rotax Championship. However, the fifteen year old racer felt that there would be an advantage to spend a day of testing with JWR in a higher horsepower car before heading to Portugal to run the Red Bull Junior Team Formula BMW cars.

The effort to put this test together at such a late date was worthwhile according to Megenbier.

"It was a great day! We came in to it just as a practice day, that's what it ended up to be, but every time we went out we went faster and had better car control and better feel. John and I hooked up really well - he knew what to do and I knew what to do so it went really well."

Despite cool temperatures, Megenbier turned in very impressive times according to team owner John Walko who was engineer for the test.

"For the first time in a Star Mazda car and his first time at BeaveRun I was really impressed. He was just a second off of our best time ever here on a less than ideal day. Neither the track nor the air temperature ever went beyond 52 degrees; we never saw the sun all day."

Walko also noted that Timmy responded with accurate feedback to changes made by the team.

"I made changes to the car and he sensed what they did quite well. I'd do things without telling him and then ask him what it did to the car and he was able to explain the changes well. He was able to feel where it affected the car the most and give good feedback, really impressive actually."

For Megenbier the test went well and should be good preparation for his trip to Europe where he will not only take part in the test drives for the 2007 Red Bull Junior Team but also race in the Rotax World Finals which are being contested in Portugal as well. This invitation to compete against some of the brightest rising stars in racing was earned by becoming the Rotax Junior Grand National Champion.

"This was a new experience getting used to the track in such a high horsepower car. It was a good test to help prepare for Red Bull program though. I think we should do this again soon."

This test was just the beginning of an off season program for JWR that will have the team traveling next to Road Atlanta for several days of on track activity. Charles Anti and Russell Walker, two key members of the 2006 Championship winning team, will be among those drivers testing for JWR at Road Atlanta.

-credit: jwr

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Skip Barber , Russell Walker , Charles Anti