CHAMPCAR/CART: Monterrey Walker Racing driver Tora qualifies 25th

Fundidora Park, Monterrey, Mexico, Mar. 10, 2001 - Walker Racing rookie driver Tora Takagi qualified in 25th position for his first-ever CART FedEx Championship Series event today in the ...

Fundidora Park, Monterrey, Mexico, Mar. 10, 2001 - Walker Racing rookie driver Tora Takagi qualified in 25th position for his first-ever CART FedEx Championship Series event today in the #5 Pioneer/DENSO Special. Tora's quickest lap was 1 minute, .18:991 seconds and 95.889 mph.

"It is a new track for me and everyone and a new series for me," said Tora. "We have been working very hard to make the car better and will continue to do so for tomorrow's race. The track is OK to run on as long as you stay on the racing line, but you must be very cautious in order to run consistently.

The inaugural Tecate Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey will be run on Sunday on the just-completed 2.1-mile permanent road course at Fundidora Park, Monterrey Mexico.

"This facility has tremendous potential," said owner Derrick Walker. "There is a great deal to be done to prepare a facility like this that starts from nothing and builds it up, and this will become a top-flight event on the CART FedEx Championship Series schedule. The circuit itself will play very well on television from a competitive standpoint and the enthusiasm from the Mexican fans is so high, that I think a sellout is almost a guarantee, which is exactly what CART needs. One cant help but acknowledge the supreme effort by the CART officials that has gone into making the track ready. For all intents and purposes, although they aren't track constructors, they came through when it came to pulling a few rabbits out of their hats. I think that track promoter Pat Patrick should definitely be thinking of some form of compensation for them in their efforts to get this facility ready in time for this event.

"Looking forward toward tomorrow's race, of course our starting position is not what we thought we would get, and its somewhat surprising that we haven't managed to get the car better than it is. The guys have been working very hard and will continue to work hard late into the night tonight, and the effort they have put in has been second to none, weave made huge changes in the car trying to find the best setup and balance and its still to be found. Its not the best start, but it is only Tora's first race, and also the first of 21 events of the season, and we'll get a handle on it.

"Race strategy for tomorrow will be interesting. The race will be two pit stops, and depending on yellows, that may change the strategy. Unfortunately you have to have a lot of luck when you don't have a car that is as competitive as we would have liked, so if we can make the car better for tomorrow and we have some luck, we can move up the grid as far as we can during the race, we will have a solid finish. I think that's the best strategy we can have."

The Tecate Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey will be broadcast on ABC at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Mar. 11.

- Walker Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tora Takagi