LAST MINUTE CHANGE OF PLANS AT HOMESTEAD TEST FOR WALKER RACING Walker Racing completed its scheduled test at Homestead a bit earlier than expected this week. Originally scheduled for December 8-10, Walker's Homestead objective was to...
LAST MINUTE CHANGE OF PLANS AT HOMESTEAD TEST FOR WALKER RACING
Walker Racing completed its scheduled test at Homestead a bit earlier than expected this week. Originally scheduled for December 8-10, Walker's Homestead objective was to have a full oval test session, with Gil de Ferran doing work for Goodyear and Naoki Hattori getting his first taste on an oval in a champ car. Unfortunately, Goodyear's portion of the test had to be postponed, as De Ferran did not drive due to a sprained wrist sustained in a minor bicycle mishap. However, the change of plans put the spotlight squarely on Hattori, who was able to gain more valuable track time on Tuesday and Wednesday. Hattori posted a best lap time of 26.0 seconds around the 1.5-mile oval at an average speed of 207 mph and logged just over 470 miles in total for the two-day test.
Derrick Walker: "It was unfortunate that we were not able to test some of Goodyear's latest development tires this week; however, Gil expects to be fit and fully ready to go testing in the new year. Homestead was beneficial from the standpoint that we were able to devote all of our resources to Naoki's Champ car development."
Rob Edwards, Team Manager: "We had a good two days running Naoki, continuing to give him a good number of miles in preparation for his first Champ car season. The preparation we're doing now, along with getting him comfortable with the team, will be an important foundation for the season. Naoki is developing a good chemistry with the team engineers and mechanics."
Naoki Hattori: "This was my first oval experience with the Champ car, and I was surprised at how the car felt. It was more comfortable to drive than the Lights car, probably due to the bigger tires and increased downforce. I appreciated being able to learn from Gil's experience. He gave me good information about how to drive: being smooth and finding the line around the race track."
Walker Racing resumes its testing schedule after the holidays in Sebring, January 11-13, with extensive Goodyear development work planned.