Mixed Day for Walker Racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Monterey, California (May 18, 2008)- It was a mixed day for Walker Racing at the Monterey Festival of Speed. The 2.238 mile permanent road circuit brought a number of obstacles along the...
Mixed Day for Walker Racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Monterey, California (May 18, 2008)- It was a mixed day for Walker Racing at the Monterey Festival of Speed. The 2.238 mile permanent road circuit brought a number of obstacles along the way for the Walker Racing trio, Canadian Kevin Lacroix, and rookies Greg and Leo Mansell.
Leo Mansell had an impressive showing today, proving that he continues to gain experience every time he gets behind the wheel of the #15 Walker Racing/Sunseeker machine. The Englishman drove a good, consistent race. With smart decision making, Leo brought his red, white and blue Swift 016a. chassis from 16th position to 11th.
It was a different story for teammate Lacroix and Leo's brother Greg, whose day got cut short. The 20 year old Brit had a fantastic start from sixth place, where he gained two positions. Unfortunately, at turn six, due to the fuel load and being on cold tires, he bottomed out, causing him to run into the gravel. Struggling to keep up on dirty tires, Greg moved back to tenth place and on the third lap made contact with Dane Cameron, resulting in nose damage to the #5 Walker Racing/ Sunseeker car. After coming into the pits on lap one to have the nose repaired, the rookie had to come back in again, where he retired from the race on lap seven.
Lacroix had a rough start, but solidly maintained his third position throughout the competition. The Canadian drove a clean, steady race, but, unfortunately, with two laps to go, was passed by Junior Strous. On the last lap, Lacroix quickly slipped from fourth to 15th, by unexpectedly running out of fuel. The disappointed Canadian fell short of the finish line, thus dashing he and his team's hopes for a podium finish.
Walker Racing heads back to Indianapolis where they will prepare for their next race at Sommet des Legends at Circuit Mont-Tremblant on June 29. For more updates on the team please visit www.walkerracing.com <http://www.walkerracing.com/> .
What they had to say....
Greg Mansell (#5 Sunseeker): "We had a fantastic start and jumped up to fourth at the first corner and was challenging Kevin on the outside, but decided it was a good idea not to hit both of us off. Everything was going well until turn six. Mid-corner in the apex, because of the fuel load and cold tires, we had a really big hit on the apex, which caught me out and was a lot more than I had expected and made me run wide through the gravel. I had dirty tires through the front straight and dropped back to about 10th. I was going down the inside of Dane Cameron who unfortunately turned into me on the first corner and took me out of the race. Now we just regroup and prepare for Canada."
Leo Mansell (#15 Sunseeker): "I had a good result in the end considering where we qualified. I managed to make the right decisions on the first couple of laps and missed the trouble. From that point on, I just tried to improve and pick up lap times throughout the race and picked off a couple of more people. In the end, although we wanted to be higher up, we still have to be happy with the result and take a step forward and hopefully keep improving on the next one and we will get right up there."
Kevin Lacroix (#25 Uni-Select/Deans Knight Capital Management/Wasteco): "I didn't have the best start and I was really lucky that everybody did the same, which let me keep my position. After that I drove my own race. I wasn't as fast as James Hinchecliffe and Carl Skerlong, but still faster than fourth place. I was able to keep my position until my last two laps. I don't know for sure what it was, if it was the fuel or fuel pump, but I didn't finish the race. It's disappointing for the championship, but the team did a great job all weekend long and it's our best weekend if we look at all the results and the times sheets. I'm really happy and looking forward to the next race."
Derrick Walker, Walker Racing Owner: "Leo brought home a good finish for the team. He really drove a smart race, made up some places and brought it home, so it was another good solid performance from him. For Greg and Kevin, it was a mixed bag. We miscalculated the fuel for Kevin. That was a terrible mistake for us to make, considering Kevin did everything just right all weekend and deserved at least a podium. We need to get back to the drawing board on that. Overall, a great team effort, the cars were always competitive, so now we get ready for Mont Tremblant. On another note, our secret weapon this weekend was Alex Tagliani, who did a masterful job at spotting, coaching, morale-boosting and being a general nutritionist, with the lovely Bronte. He kept the team in good order this weekend and thanks to him, he did a fantastic job."