CHAMPCAR/CART: Miami: Walker Racing race report

Rodolfo Lavin (R), ...

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

Lavin started today's race in 16th place and quickly overtook Mika Salo for 15th position. Lavin received a drive through penalty on Lap 38 for blocking Patrick Carpentier who was battling for position as the leaders were trying to overtake the two. On Lap 53, Lavin made light contact with the wall in the fountain turns and pitted for a full-service pit stop as the Corona crew checked for damage finding none. Lavin returned to action making contact again in Turn 8 on Lap 56. While he was able to return to pit lane, the Corona car could not return to competition due to rear suspension damage.

"I just very lightly kissed the wall in the fountain turns, but we brought the Corona car in for a pit stop and to check for damage. A few laps a later, I couldn't get the car to turn going into Turn 8 and that damage put us out of the race. It's a shame. It's been a long, hot weekend for everyone and Miami has been such a great market to race in, I'd really hoped for a strong finish. I'm testing in Sebring on Monday and Tuesday which will be very helpful for me going into Mexico City which is obviously a very important race for the Corona team."

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

Manning worked extremely hard to earn another strong finish in the #15 RAC Walker Racing car with sponsorship. The British hot shoe made his first pit stop of the day under yellow conditions on Lap 39. On his out lap he made contact with the wall. The Walker Racing crew then made a series of pit stops to check for damage and to continually top off with fuel. On Lap 104, while on a separate pit strategy from the leaders, Manning took the lead for four laps marking the third time the rookie has led a Champ Car race. (He led twice in his 2002 Rockingham debut.) Old tires made it difficult for Manning to maintain the lead. On Lap 117, he made his final stop of the day while running in eighth. Manning soon reported losing third gear and eventually had to park the #15 machine on Lap 123. He finished eleventh. It marks his ninth consecutive points-paying finish.

"It was a tough race right from the start. After the first pit stop which was under yellow I was trying to catch back up to the pack on full tanks and cold tires and I had a massive moment coming onto the pit straight. I thought a touched the wall and had knocked the tow out. Since I was at the back of the pack, we made a couple of pit stops to check it over. We changed our sequence which put us out in the lead. My tires were really bad, so I moved backwards. I knocked third gear out trying to maintain my position and it just progressively got worse. I couldn't even double shift, so we had to stop."

Fast Facts:

Marks his 17th Champ Car start, Ends his consecutive top-ten streak, Made Champ Car history in Denver becoming the first rookie driver to string together eight consecutive top-ten finishes


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Patrick Carpentier , Rodolfo Lavin