Walker Racing rookies Darren Manning and Rodolfo Lavin found more time out of their respective Champ Car machines from Friday morning's practice sessions to the afternoon qualifying, but it wasn't enough to put them higher than 14th and 15th ...
Walker Racing rookies Darren Manning and Rodolfo Lavin found more time out of their respective Champ Car machines from Friday morning's practice sessions to the afternoon qualifying, but it wasn't enough to put them higher than 14th and 15th respectively on the provisional grid for Sunday's Grand Prix of Monterey. A late red flag during the qualifying session made for a difficult end to the day.
Rodolfo Lavin (R), #5 Corona Competition Team Ford-Cosworth XFE-Reynard-Bridgestone
"The Corona is much better from this morning. This first part of qualifying I think we did pretty good. We went one second quicker than this morning. Then the second part of qualifying was just a complete disaster. There was so much traffic after the red flag and everyone was waiting until the end to get a clean spot. It made it difficult for anyone to do anything. The speed coming down the main straight and through the carousel in a Champ Car is really amazing and it was quite a rush. It takes some time to get used to the jump in power from the Atlantic car, but this is definitely an enjoyable ride."
Fast Facts: Will mark his seventh Champ Car start, While the 15 June event will mark his first Champ Car start at Laguna Seca, Lavin has seven previous starts at the circuit contesting races in Toyota Atlantic (2001 -- 2002) and Indy Lights (1996 -- 2000), Earned two consecutive top-ten finishes during his Toyota Atlantic runs at the circuit finishing seventh in 2002 and sixth in 2001
Darren Manning (R), #15 RAC Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth XFE-Reynard-Bridgestone
"I thought we were going to be all right after the second practice session. I thought we had a pretty good set-up. On the first run, I only got one flying lap which was my fastest lap. We decided to go out early for the second run and while I was on my two best laps -- when the tires were up to temperature -- Oriol (Servia) came out of the pits in front of me. It's not his fault at all, but it spoiled my last lap which probably would have been a little bit faster than my 71.7 (second lap). I think the other guys have a bit of an advantage over us having done the pre-season test, so we're behind a little with some of the set-up. It's always tough days on the first day when everyone else has tested. We'll have to put on our thinking caps on tonight and come up with a few good changes over night, as we generally do."
Fast Facts: Will be his eighth Champ Car start and seventh with Walker Racing, Earned a new career-best finish of fourth at the Milwaukee race (31 May) which marked his fifth consecutive top-ten effort, Has earned six top-ten finishes in seven starts, Currently ninth in the drivers' championship and second in the Rookie of the Year battle, The #15 RAC Walker Racing pit crew gave Manning the fastest pit stops of the Milwaukee weekend -- a feat the team also achieved at Monterrey, Mexico
Sponsor Update: NTN Bearing Corporation has signed on as an associate sponsor on Manning's #15 RAC Walker Racing Champ Car for the remainder of the 2003 Champ Car World Series. The #15 entry began sporting the company's logo on the top of the sidepods during this afternoon's qualifying session.