CHAMPCAR/CART: Walker Racing partners with new sponsor

Air China enters into marketing partnership with Walker Racing. Portland, Ore. (June 20, 2003) - Walker Racing and Air China, through its marketing agency Pro-Motion, have entered into a marketing and business development agreement for the ...

Air China enters into marketing partnership with Walker Racing.

Portland, Ore. (June 20, 2003) - Walker Racing and Air China, through its marketing agency Pro-Motion, have entered into a marketing and business development agreement for the remainder of the 2003 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World season to promote the Air China brand throughout the international market of Champ Car racing. Darren Manning's #15 Walker Racing Champ Car will sport the Air China logo on its sidepods beginning at this weekend's G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway, Round 8 of the Champ Car World Series schedule.

"This is a great opportunity to partner with one of the most recognized brands both inside and outside of China," said team owner Derrick Walker. "Our relationship will allow Walker Racing to partner with other companies that want to do business with Air China, and open the door to those who want to do business in the world's fastest growing market."

Air China, China's flag carrier, has retained Pro-Motion to provide consulting services for their international marketing efforts. Through increased international exposure of their brand with Walker Racing, Air China and Pro-Motion seek to elevate the airline's brand visibility among tourists visiting the world's second most popular tourist destination. China currently enjoys more than seven million international visitors each year to its cultural landmarks and ancient historical sites. Air China flies over 26 million passengers each year on one of the world's newest fleets of Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

Felicity Song, who has ten years experience in airline industry marketing, runs Pro-Motion's Beijing office.

"This is an excellent opportunity to increase the international exposure of Air China through motorsports," Song said. "Derrick Walker and the team at Walker Racing have a long history of putting a quality product on the track, and providing their business partners with unequaled business value and hospitality. Pro-Motion and Air China look forward to a long relationship with Walker Racing."

Manning has secured an impressive six top-ten finishes in just eight Champ Car starts this season, including a career-high fourth place finish earned recently at the Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 (31 May). The 28-year-old British rookie comes to North America's premier open-wheel series after serving as a Formula One test driver at BAR for three years and competing in Formula 3000, Japanese Formula 3 and British Formula 3.

Walker Racing, based in Indianapolis, Ind., enters its 13th season of Champ Car competition campaigning two rookies, Mexican Rodolfo Lavin and Brit Darren Manning. Walker Racing owns ten pole positions, 26 podium finishes and four Champ Car victories with Scott Goodyear capturing the team's first win at Michigan in 1992.

Qualifying for the G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway will air Saturday, 21 June on SPEED Channel at 5:30 p.m. Eastern. The race will air live Sunday, 22 June at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Scott Goodyear , Rodolfo Lavin