CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: Walker Racing Friday report

A sponsor announcement and top-three provisional qualifying run have started Walker Racing rookie Darren Manning's Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver weekend off to a promising start. Team owner Derrick Walker, Sportsbook.com Director of ...

A sponsor announcement and top-three provisional qualifying run have started Walker Racing rookie Darren Manning's Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver weekend off to a promising start. Team owner Derrick Walker, Sportsbook.com Director of Marketing Gary Hoyle and Manning announced a primary sponsorship relationship with industry leader Sportsbook.com through the end of the season. Less than two hours later, Manning returned to the interview room as the third fastest qualifier from today's single-car provisional qualifying session.

Corona driver Rodolfo Lavin consistently made gains in every session and is on-track to post his best road course qualifying effort of the season.

Rodolfo Lavin (R), #5 Corona Competition Team Ford-Cosworth XFE-Reynard-Bridgestone

"The Corona car improved a lot from this morning to this afternoon. Every track has its own secrets and this is a very bumpy track. The car is still pushing quite bit. If we can find some more front grip, we'll be in a much better position for tomorrow's final qualifying run."

Fast Facts: Will mark his 15th Champ Car start and first start on the streets of Denver

Darren Manning, (R), #15 RAC Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth XFE-Reynard-Bridgestone

"I think there's a couple more tenths in the RAC Walker Racing Champ Car. It's fantastic that we have a top-three qualifying effort, especially on a day when we've announced new sponsorship with Sportsbook.com, but I'm a little frustrated with myself. I just clipped the wall there on the last turn right before the checkered flag. We're quick though, so I'm very happy with the track and the start we're having to the weekend.

If Manning hangs onto his third place qualifying effort for Saturday's final qualifying session, it will mark his best qualifying of the season topping a fifth place effort earned in Germany.

Manning stands ready to make Champ Car history by becoming the first rookie driver in the series' history to earn eight consecutive top-ten finishes.

Fast Facts:

Will mark his 16th Champ Car start, Has finished in the top-ten at every street course event this season with the exception of the season-opener at St. Petersburg where a clutch problem put an early end to his season debut, Has earned seven consecutive top-ten finishes dating back to the G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland (22 June), Has 13 top-ten finishes to his credit in just 15 starts, Currently ranked ninth in the championship points standings with 76 points, Ranked second in the Rookie of the Year standings

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Rodolfo Lavin