Manning scores second top-ten finish; contact ends Lavin's run. Rodolfo Lavin (R) , ...
Manning scores second top-ten finish; contact ends Lavin's run.
Rodolfo Lavin (R) , #5 Corona Competition Team Ford-Cosworth XFE-Reynard-Bridgestone
Lavin made contact with the Turn 5 tire barrier on the race restart on Lap 36. Finished 18th.
"We had a good race going. The team had brought me in early for our first pit stop trying to open a window for us. The Corona car was handling really well and I was turning good, consistent laps, so I'm very pleased with that. On the restart, I lost the car on cold tires going into Turn 5 and ended up in the tire barrier. Then, Moreno tagged the rear as he came around the corner. It's disappointing that we didn't finish the race, but we're making progress with the car."
Darren Manning , (R), #15 Ford-Cosworth XFE-Reynard-Bridgestone
Manning scored his second consecutive top-ten finish finishing eighth in his first run on the streets of Long Beach. It marks his third top-ten finish in four Champ Car starts.
"It's frustrating when guys get lucky with their pit stop strategies and are able to pass you because of that. We worked really hard on our strategy; it just didn't work out in our favor. Being one of the first boxes in the pit lane hurt us a little bit because when the second yellow came out and we made the late call to come into the pits, my guys were still jumping over the wall as I came in. Those who were further up the pit lane had a bit more time to prepare. It's a very physical course even though there aren't any high speed corners. The hair pin and the fountain turn are so tight that as you're down shifting, you're spending an awful lot of time driving with one arm. Overall though, the car was really good today, the guys gave me great pit stops and it's good to be in the top-ten, to keep getting points."
The United States Air Force recognized Walker Racing on the grid prior to this afternoon's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach presenting team owner Derrick Walker, driver Darren Manning and the #15 crew with an Award of Appreciation for the team's show of patriotic support. The Air Force's Major Yoleanda Wood and Sgt. Mike Levergood presented the plaque to the team. Manning's #15 RAC Walker Racing Champ Car took on a new look for this weekend's race, sporting the distinctive United States Air Force winged logo on its sidepods in a tribute to troops defending the United States.
"We're been pleasantly surprised by the reaction from the Air Force and the fans. We all know there were more than a few race fans here this weekend, but I can tell you there were also a number of Air Force veterans here as well. The reception we received walking down the pit lane was amazing," said team owner Derrick Walker.
Lavin and Manning will be testing on April 15 and 16 at Portland International Raceway. Manning heads home to England after the Portland test to begin preparations for his home race, the London Champ Car Trophy at Brands Hatch on Sunday, May 5.