Portland I: Walker Racing race notes

Walker Racing Continues Their Roll in Portland Portland, OR (June 9, 2007)- Despite wet weather conditions, Walker Racing continued their roll today in Portland as the pilot of the ...

Walker Racing Continues Their Roll in Portland

Portland, OR (June 9, 2007)- Despite wet weather conditions, Walker Racing continued their roll today in Portland as the pilot of the #15 NCPI Solutions chassis, Brit Ryan Lewis, claimed his second podium in a row after his debut in Portland last year and earned his best result of this season finishing third in the first race of the double header this weekend.

As the green flag flew, Lewis kept his car from slipping and sliding as he gained two positions in the first lap before the caution was thrown. As the race progressed the 23- year old fell back to third, but maintained his position until the bitter end, fighting off Matos in the final lap.

Lewis's teammate, Swiss rookie Simona De Silvestro had a rocky beginning, stalling the #5 Miauton car, pushing her back from her eighth place starting position to fifteenth. The Swiss Miss finished sixteenth after just bumping back one position.

Both Walker Racing drivers are prepared for tomorrow's rainy conditions as they had a strong session in this morning's qualifying for the second race tomorrow. Lewis qualified fourth on the grid with a time of 1:06.601 as De Silvestro clocked a time of 1:06.861 and will start fourteenth for tomorrow's Grand Prix of Portland Atlantic race.

Walker Racing will be back out on track tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. PT as they complete the final race of the Mazda Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland presented by Joe's Sports and Outdoor doubleheader. For more updates on the team please visit www.walkerracing.com <http://www.walkerracing.com/> .

What they had to say....

Ryan Lewis: "Obviously, coming into the weekend, I was feeling pretty good. I had a good debut here last year. I think it's maybe more suited to what I'm used to back in Europe. It's a fast, sort of, flowing circuit. I genuinely enjoy driving around Portland. It's great fun. It was a matter of having a good start. I was keeping a good pace with James (Hinchcliffe) and Robert (Wickens). Robert got a good run on me and I made a bit of mistake and they both got a gap on me that stayed that way throughout the race. I decided to play it safe and keep it third and come home with a podium. For qualifying, I think I've had the best car I've had all weekend this morning in qualifying. We ended up fifth, got caught in traffic. I think we definitely could have been on pole, but overall we had a great car and I was very happy."

Simona De Silvestro: "The start got us, I stalled in the beginning, because the wheels were spinning, but even if we had a better start, it was too difficult to see and I didn't have much grip. As for qualifying, we had a pretty good session today. Unfortunately we got held up in last four laps and were unable to get a clear lap, but the car was handled well."

Derrick Walker: "Portland suites Ryan really well, he had a good line around here and the car was good for the race and he played it smart. I think he got the most out of the conditions and he's finally got the monkey off of his back now, he's finally got a good solid result in. I'm really happy for him and the team. As for Simona, there was a bit of a delay at the start, which in these conditions it's really hard to bounce back. She did a good job and drove as much as she could get out of the car. I know we need to have a better wet setup, there is only so much you can do until you get the car right, we have to do some work for her tomorrow if it's going to ready.

Qualifying was not as much as a gain as we thought we were going to get. We didn't get as good as a position as we had hoped, but we learned a lot from this session here and it looks like its going to be wet and now we just need concentrate on a good wet setup for tomorrow."

-credit: wr

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Ryan Lewis