CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Walker Racing Saturday report

Weather continued to factor into on-track activities on Saturday's final qualifying for the G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway. Rain clouds threatened yet again at the beginning of the afternoon session prompting the majority of...

Weather continued to factor into on-track activities on Saturday's final qualifying for the G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway. Rain clouds threatened yet again at the beginning of the afternoon session prompting the majority of cars out immediately at the green flag in an attempt to put in as many flying laps under dry conditions as possible. Lavin and Manning were able to post quicker qualifying times from Friday's provisional runs before the Portland sky opened up once again to shower the circuit. Lavin will start 16th in his #5 Corona Competition Team entry while teammate Manning earned an eighth place start in his #15 RAC Walker Racing Champ Car, his fifth top-ten start of the season.

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

"We did the right thing with timing today by going out immediately at the start of the session. We were able to get in most of our laps under dry condition before the rain came. We were making small changes on the set-up of the Corona car and the times started coming much easier this afternoon. I haven't had race in the rain yet driving a Champ Car, so we'll have to see how it goes tomorrow. Hopefully, we can continue to just get our track time before the heavy rains set in."

Fast Facts: Will mark his eighth Champ Car start, Marks his first Champ Car start at Portland, Has six previous starts at the circuit contesting races in Toyota Atlantic (2002) and Indy Lights (1996 -- 2000)

Engineering Update: Team manager Rob Edwards will be engineering Lavin's #5 Corona entry weekend as engineer Al Bodey returned to Indianapolis this morning due to a death in the family. Edwards, who joined Walker Racing in 1993, has engineered Walker Racing cars for Hiro Matsushita (1993), Willy T. Ribbs (1994) and Robby Gordon (1995 -- 1996). He assumed team manager responsibilities in 1997.

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

"We were struggling in the session. Firstly, we didn't think (the session) would be faster and it didn't turn out that way. I dropped out the top-ten before we were able to find a couple little things on the car to get a quicker time on the sheets. I got caught in a lot of traffic on my second set of tires and I set my fastest lap when the tire pressures were way over. I'm looking forward to the possibility of rain tomorrow. Being from England, I probably have more experience than anyone racing in the rain, although I haven't done it in these cars. I guess they're probably pretty nasty in the wet with the turbos, but that's always good for a bit of driver skill, you know it will equalize the car performance."

Fast Facts: Marks his fifth top-ten starting effort this season, Will be his ninth Champ Car start, Has six top-ten finishes to his credit in eight starts

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Robby Gordon , Willy T. Ribbs , Rodolfo Lavin