CHAMPCAR/CART: Walker Racing Portland test notes 2003-04-17

Walker Racing rookies continue to rack up testing miles. INDIANAPOLIS (April 17, 2003) --Walker Racing teammates Rodolfo Lavin and Darren Manning continued to collect valuable testing miles this week, completing a two-day test, Tuesday and ...

Walker Racing rookies continue to rack up testing miles.

INDIANAPOLIS (April 17, 2003) --Walker Racing teammates Rodolfo Lavin and Darren Manning continued to collect valuable testing miles this week, completing a two-day test, Tuesday and Wednesday, at Portland International Raceway's 1.969-mile permanent road course.

Mexican rookie Lavin battled a gearbox problem through the fist day of testing, but posted a respectable time of 59.3 seconds, within a second of pace-setter Michel Jourdain's fastest lap.

"We struggled with the gearbox on Tuesday; it was difficult to down shift, but the Corona crew changed the gearbox overnight and the car was much better for Wednesday," Lavin said. "The Champ Car has so much more speed going into Turn 1 than you have in an Atlantic car; it takes a few laps to get use to it. I'm getting much more comfortable in the car and communication with the team continues to improve the more time we have together."

Manning's two-day test had mixed results. The Briton was getting up to speed, posting a time of 59.4 seconds, before a couple of mid-afternoon incidents cut his second day of testing short.

"I had one small incident this afternoon where I ran a bit wide getting onto the grass and tagged the tire barrier," Manning explained. "Later, I got into a bit of slide, caught the tip of the wall and ended up coming across the track and slamming the wall there as well. Not a good way to end the day.

"Rodolfo had a good test and we were able to try a number of basic set-up changes on both cars. Unfortunately, with the accident, I didn't have time to really try for more speed. It was good that we had the two days here though. I got plenty of laps around the track, so it will be one of the few circuits that I'll have run on before turning up for the race weekend."

While rain had threatened the test earlier in the week, the weather held as the duo combined to complete 560 miles over the two days.

"We didn't quite get through everything that we'd planned to," said team owner Derrick Walker, "but with two rookies any testing mileage is important. The Portland facility provides a good permanent road course test and hopefully we've learned a few things that will help us on this particular discipline in the coming races."

Manning heads across the pond on Thursday to begin media and promotional activities for his home race at the legendary Brands Hatch circuit. The London Champ Car Trophy, Round 4 of the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, takes place on Monday, May 5 followed by Champ Car's return to EuroSpeedway for the Sunday, May 11 German 500.

- WR -

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Michel Jourdain