CHAMPCAR/CART: Walker Racing Gold Coast race recap

Tora 16th On Streets At Surfers SURFERS PARADISE, Australia Walker Racing rookie driver Tora Takagi survived a wild and woolly race down under to finish in 16th position before a record race-day crowd of more than 110,00 fans on ...

Tora 16th On Streets At Surfers

SURFERS PARADISE, Australia Walker Racing rookie driver Tora Takagi survived a wild and woolly race down under to finish in 16th position before a record race-day crowd of more than 110,00 fans on the 2.795-miletemporary street course in downtown Surfers Paradise.

Friday's practice sessions were cut short due to rain and Tora qualified on Saturday in 20th position in his #5 Pioneer/DENSO/Toyota/Reynard/Firestone car.

"It was a tough race for the rookies since we couldn't learn the track as well as we would have liked due to rain," said Tora. "But thanks to the crew guys, I managed to improve my lap times during qualifying and our starting position for the race was better than I expected. We also ended up with a very good set up on the car for the race with less than 30 laps between qualifying and the race."

Fuel mileage played a big role in the Surfers race, with only two caution periods totaling five laps making a difference in the team's strategy.

"After a good one lap qualifying run and a difficult race we ended up in 16th place, even with (fuel engineer) Al Bodey's experienced fuel management strategy," said owner Derrick Walker. "The huge crowd of race fans saw an exciting race here today. Surfers is always a shining example of how to make a race weekend an event to remember for the fans.

We head to our last race of the season in Fontana with a short turnaround time for the team to prepare the cars and another new oval for Tora to learn in short order, but as he adapts very quickly to new tracks we hope for a good result to end the season."

The final round for the 2001 season of the CART FedEx Championship series will be run at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif., on Nov. 4. The 500 presented by Toyota will air on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. (ET.)

-WR-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tora Takagi