CHAMPCAR/CART: Walker Racing Mid-Ohio review




What: MILLER LITE 200 Round Fourteenth of the 20-races FedEx Championship Series for the PPG Cup

Derrick Walker -Team Owner: " Weather change the track and useful running time, but clearly our package was no match for the competition. Although the car balance was good, lack of grip made us ineffective, however with Gil sixth place should have been a 4th or 5th were it not for a slow stop. Naoki, made more progress towards full recovery, a slightly long brake made the race that more difficult for him."

GIL de FERRAN # 5 Valvoline/Cummins/Walker Racing Honda Started 6th, finished 6th

Gil de Ferran: Qualified sixth at 122.915 mph (1:06.133), started 6th, finished 6th: "After four races of not running at the end, it was good to get a top six. We were looking for a better finish, but I was boxed in behind Tony Kanaan when he ran out of gas going down pit lane. We lost a lot of time. We could have made up a couple of positions on that stop. But basically, it was a trouble free run. The car was good and especially good under braking. I was pushing as hard as I could, and than I would make a small mistake and it would take a lap or two to get the rhythm back. But at the end, points are points and they all add up at the end of the season."

NAOKI HATTORI #15 Alpine/Walker Racing Honda Started 23rd, finished 19th

Naoki Hattori - Qualified 23rd at 120.785 mph (1:07.300). His second start since the season opener a Homestead where he sustained a double compound fracture of the left leg during an opening lap accident, in the second turn of the first lap in a grinding collision with Al Unser Jr. Started 23rd, finished 19th: "My leg is okay now, no problems today. However, it was not a very good race for us. We had brake problems throughout the race and I was not able to press as hard as I wanted. Hopefully, things will be better next race." Friday, August 13th, 1999

Session Times:  Practice    Friday Morning
Pos.    Driver      Car#    Car Config. Lap Time    Lap Speed   B.Leader
17  Gil de Ferran   5       Honda/RI/G  67.691  120.087     1.291 
25  Naoki Hattori   15      Honda/RI/G  68.347  118.934     1.947 
Session Times:  Qualifying  Friday Afternoon
Pos.    Driver      Car#    Car Config. Lap Time    Lap Speed   B.Leader
6   Gil de Ferran   5       Honda/RI/G  66.133  122.916     0.786 
23  Naoki Hattori   15      Honda/RI/G  67.300  120.785     1.953  

Gil de Ferran: " The car doesn't feel to bad. We got the timing a little bit wrong, it started raining and then it stopped, but we had bet on the fact that it would continue raining. We went out with the second set of tires while it was still a little damp. Up until then, I was P1 or P2. As the track began to improve, some people left the new tire run until later and I think that played to their advantage a little. I think the red flags also hurt us a bit today. It still takes a couple of laps to bring the Goodyear tires up to temperature. Hopefully we'll have more stable conditions tomorrow and see what we can do."

Naoki Hattori: " My leg (still healing from the Homestead crash) is much better this week, and the car is better as well. I tested here two weeks ago, so I am more comfortable here that I was at Detroit last week. We still need to go faster tomorrow."

Saturday, August 14th, 1999

Session Times:  Practice    Saturday Morning
Pos.    Driver      Car#    Car Config.     Lap Time    Lap Speed   B.Leader
3   Gil de Ferran   5       Honda/RI/G  88.963      91.373      1.593 
13  Naoki Hattori   15X     Honda/RI/G  127.204     63.904      39.834 
Session Times:  Qualifying  Saturday Afternoon
Pos.    Driver      Car#    Car Config. Lap Time    Lap Speed   B.Leader
0   Gil de Ferran   5       Honda/RI/G  
0   Naoki Hattori   15      Honda/RI/G   

Note: Wet track in the afternoon, only few cars went out for a shake down of repairs made earlier in the garage area. Gil and Naoki did not run in this session.

Gil de Ferran and Naoki Hattori Signed autographs for one hour at Walker Racing Hospitality

In an effort to reward the fans that braved today's inclement weather, CART, in conjunction with its drivers, set up an autograph session. All the drivers who are competing in Sunday's Miller Lite 200 were available for autographs and photographs at their respective team hospitality transporters following qualifying. CART invited the fans to the paddock; the session was scheduled for a half-hour, but was extended to an hour to accommodate the large amount of fans that took advantage of the opportunity. Sunday, August 15th, 1999

Session Times:      Warm-up Sunday Morning
Pos.    Driver      Car#        Car Config. Lap Time    Lap Speed   B.Leader
20  Gil de Ferran   5           Honda/RI/G  68.719  118.290     1.378 
26  Naoki Hattori   15          Honda/RI/G  70.753  114.890     3.412 
Session Times:      Race        Sunday Afternoon
Fin.Pos.Driver      Car#        Car Config. Best Lap    Lap Time    Lap Speed   
6   Gil de Ferran   5           Honda/RI/G      77      67.837  119.828
19  Naoki Hattori   15          Honda/RI/G      26      68.978  117.846
Pit Stops   Gil de Ferran Car # 5           Sunday Race
Pit Lap Track Status    Position before Position after      Pit Times
1   29      Green           6               9               37.142
2   58      Green           5               9               36.319
Total time for 2 Pit Stops                                  73.461
Pit Stops   Naoki Hattori Car # 15      Sunday Race
Pit Lap Track Status    Position before Position after      Pit Times
1   30      Green           14              24              36.664
2   59      Yellow          23              22              34.986
Total time for 2 Pit Stops                                  71.650 

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Gil de Ferran , Tony Kanaan , Naoki Hattori