Walker Racing rookies Rodolfo Lavin and Darren Manning took to the streets of downtown Miami for the first time today in the initial practice and qualifying sessions for Sunday's Grand Prix Americas presented by sportsbook.com. A rain-soaked ...
Walker Racing rookies Rodolfo Lavin and Darren Manning took to the streets of downtown Miami for the first time today in the initial practice and qualifying sessions for Sunday's Grand Prix Americas presented by sportsbook.com. A rain-soaked morning practice made it even more challenging to prepare for this afternoon's single-car qualifying session with each driver receiving only three laps in the heat of Miami's sun.
Rodolfo Lavin (R), #5 Corona Competition Team Ford-Cosworth XFE-Reynard-Bridgestone
"It's like the flip of the coin. I still don't really have a good feel for how the Corona car is handling on this track because the wet conditions from the morning are totally different from running in the dry with only three laps in single-car qualifying. In three laps it's very difficult to find the limits of the car and the braking zones on the back straight under the trees. It's very difficult to see if you can be flat or not. Right now it's hard for me to make a judgment."
Will mark his 16th Champ Car start and first start on the streets of Miami
Darren Manning, (R), #15 RAC Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth XFE-Reynard-Bridgestone
Manning made contact with the wall early on the first lap of his qualifying run damaging the right rear tire of his #15 RAC Walker Racing Champ with sportsbook.com sponsorship. The rookie returned to pit lane where the Walker Racing crew quickly changed all four tires before putting Manning back in line for qualifying. Initially, CART informed Walker Racing that Manning would lose one qualifying lap for the previously aborted qualifying attempt. After Manning took the track, CART informed Walker Racing that Manning would instead receive all three qualifying laps, but would lose his fastest lap for bringing out the red flag.
"I just clipped the right rear on the corner there around the fountain section. I was trying to get the tires warm and it just got away on the concrete. It took me by surprise really. I was just trying to push a bit too hard, too early. The qualifying run wasn't too bad. There's a big bump on the last lap where the car was getting a little airborne so I took it a bit steady on the last lap. It's a decent start for the weekend though and we have another practice and qualifying session tomorrow to catch them."
Will mark his 17th Champ Car start, Made Champ Car history in Denver becoming the first rookie driver to string together eight consecutive top-ten finishes, 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 14 top-ten finishes to his credit in just 16 starts, Currently ranked tenth in the championship points standing, Ranked second in the Rookie of the Year standings
Derrick Walker, team owner
"Obviously it was a frustrating qualifying run for us because Darren actually had a good car. What really threw us for a loop is the number of laps we were going to get for qualifying. I don't think we were fully prepared for that. Had we known beforehand how many laps we'd have for the qualifying run, I think we would have done one or two things differently. Tomorrow we'll get a chance to catch up. It's one of those areas where we need to get a lot more consistent to give everyone an equal chance of getting as far up the grid as possible."