Portland, Ore., June 25, 2000 - Walker Racing driver Shinji Nakano finished his first CART FedEx Championship Series road course race at Portland International Raceway in 11th position today. Nakano, an accomplished road racer and Formula 1 ...
Portland, Ore., June 25, 2000 - Walker Racing driver Shinji Nakano finished his first CART FedEx Championship Series road course race at Portland International Raceway in 11th position today.
Nakano, an accomplished road racer and Formula 1 veteran, has nine top-10 finishes in the series, with the Scuderia Minardi and Prost Mugen Honda teams. In 1999, he was the test driver for the Jordan Mugen Honda F1 team.
The Japanese rookie driver started the 112-lap race in 21st position. Thanks to good spotting by team owner Derrick Walker, Nakano missed a first lap five-car pileup and drove to his second-best CART finish of the 2000 season.
Shinji moved up six spots on the first lap alone, and continued to drive smart throughout the entire race. He made his first pit stop on Lap 36, and fast pit work by his team kept him in the hunt. The #5 Avex/Honda/Reynard/Firestone performed flawlessly all day at the 1.967-mile permanent road course at Portland International Raceway."
"The car was quite good throughout the race," said Nakano. "The only problem we had all day was a small one with the tire pressures, and we adjusted that for the second pit stop, and after that the car felt fine."
After his second pit stop, Shinji moved up through the field to 10th place on Lap 88. The excellent work by the Walker Racing team continued on the final pit stop, putting Nakano back on the track without losing a spot. When the final pit stops by the race leaders cycled through, the Japanese rookie wasn't passed for position the rest of the race.
"The racing was good out on the track today," said Shinji. "We were able to keep the same times as the leaders, and the car handled very well. The team did a great job, and Derrick was a good help for me, especially on that first lap when there was an accident that he warned me about!"
Round nine of the CART FedEx Championship series will take place on June 30 - July 2. The Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by Firstar will be contested at Burke Lakefront Airport and will be broadcast live on ABC at 1 p.m. (ET.)
Walker Racing's corporate sponsor partners are avex, Alpine, Mitsuba, SpeedWRX.com, Dell Computers, NGK, St. Elmo Steakhouse, Honda, Reynard and Firestone.