CHAMPCAR/CART: Road America: Walker Racing preview

Walker Racing's Mario Haberfeld Looks To Extend Top-10 Streak At Road America INDIANAPOLIS (August 6, 2004) - Walker Racing and driver Mario Haberfeld bring their ...

Walker Racing's Mario Haberfeld Looks To Extend Top-10 Streak At Road America

INDIANAPOLIS (August 6, 2004) - Walker Racing and driver Mario Haberfeld bring their #5 Cummins Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone machine to the mammoth 4.048-mile Road America layout in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for this weekend's Champ Car Grand Prix of Road America, presented by the Chicago Tribune, looking for its third consecutive top-10 finish.

The single-car squad has put together two of its strongest performances of the 2004 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season in the last two events. Haberfeld equaled a career-high fourth-place run in Toronto, then followed that with a ninth-place effort two weeks ago in Vancouver. A similar finish at this weekend's Champ Car Grand Prix of Road America Presented by the Chicago Tribune would mark the longest top-10 streak of the year for the Indianapolis-based team.

Walker Racing has been one of the strongest race-day performers throughout the season, with Haberfeld, who is in his second Champ Car season, gaining spots from his starting position in six of the year's seven races. He has made up at least five positions during the race in five of the starts including a race-high 10 positions in the Toronto race.

"It was hard at the beginning of the season because our deal didn't come together until just before the first race," Haberfeld said. "We only had one test, so the first couple of races we were using last year's data to setup the car. After that we were able to get a few test days in and now I know more about the car, plus the team and I have had a chance to get to know each other. We have a much better idea of what we need to do to make the car fast," he explained. "The last two races things have started to come together and the Cummins Walker Racing team has finished in the top-10 both times. Of course we would like to do better, but our goal when we started was to finish in the top-10 every race. That kind of consistency is a realistic goal for us and will guarantee a strong showing in the championship standings," Haberfeld noted.

The Walker team has had success at Road America in the past, including a podium finish by two-time Champ Car title winner Gil de Ferran in 1997. The team has qualified in the top five on three occasions and Haberfeld himself had a strong race on the challenging road circuit last year, improving seven positions on race day to finish eighth.

"I really like the Road America circuit," Haberfeld said. "It reminds me a lot of Spa in Belgium, which is my favorite track. As far as circuits in the United States, Road American is my second favorite just behind Laguna Seca," he noted. "It is hard to predict how the Cummins Walker Racing team will do this weekend. We are one of only two Reynards in the series so we there isn't a lot of data out there to help develop the setup. But, a top-10 finish here is definitely realistic and with hard work and a little luck we could surprise some people," Haberfeld concluded.

The Walker Racing team will be on track beginning at 10 a.m. Friday morning and will compete in qualifying sessions both Friday and Saturday, leading to Sunday's 50-lap race. The race can be seen live on HDNet and can also be seen on Spike TV Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. Eastern.


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mario Haberfeld , Gil de Ferran