Manning scores new career-best finish of fourth; Lavin runs as high as seventh before contact on lap 225 Rodolfo Lavin (R), ...
Manning scores new career-best finish of fourth; Lavin runs as high as seventh before contact on lap 225
Rodolfo Lavin (R), #5 Corona Competition Team Ford-Cosworth XFE-Reynard-Bridgestone
Lavin started 14th based on the combined practice times when qualifying was cancelled due to wet conditions. The young Mexican put his #5 Corona Competition Team machine within the top-ten by lap 90 where he remained. On Lap 225, as the field came back to green, Lavin made contact with the Turn 2 wall battling for seventh position.
"On the restart, someone went to the inside and I went a little bit wide and went into the gray and the car just didn't grip in the front. It may have been cold tires, but I warmed the tires as just as I'd done for the other restarts. It's really disappointing because we were running a good race up until that point. We were in seventh at the time and it's a shame to lose a strong finish for Corona and for the team."
Darren Manning, (R), #15 Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth XFE-Reynard-Bridgestone
Manning jumped from his 11th place starting position to eighth place by Lap 4. The Brit pitted on Lap 59 while running fifth, but lost a few positions on his out lap after getting into the grass at pit out running on cold tires. Undeterred, Manning was back up into sixth by Lap 83 where he ran for most of the race. On Lap 213, Manning came into the pits for his final stop of the evening. The #15 crew once again gave Manning a quick stop allowing him to gain two positions (with Tracy's lost wheel) and advancing into fourth place, narrowly missing his first Champ Car podium finish.
"I knew the first day that we got to run at night that we had a great car for the night conditions. It's a shame we didn't get to put in a qualifying run because I had a perfect car which I think showed in the race. I'm just so frustrated with that mistake coming out of the pits (on Lap 59). I big time got in the grass coming off the pit speed limiter. The tires were just so cold. The car was great though! I was able to put the car wherever I wanted. The guys gave me fantastic stops throughout the race. Finishing fourth is another improvement for the team, so overall I have to be happy."
Fast Facts: Marks his fifth consecutive top-ten finish, The fourth place finish marks a new career-best finish for Manning, the second consecutive race that the Briton has improved upon his finishing effort, Has seventh Champ Car starts