Fundidora Park, Monterrey, Mexico, Mar. 11, 2001-- Walker Racing rookie driver Tora Takagi had a great first race in his champ car debut at the Tecate Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey today with his 10th place finish in the ...
Fundidora Park, Monterrey, Mexico, Mar. 11, 2001-- Walker Racing rookie driver Tora Takagi had a great first race in his champ car debut at the Tecate Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey today with his 10th place finish in the #5 Pioneer/DENSO Special. It was the inaugural event for the CART FedEx Championship Series at Fundidora Park in Monterrey, Mexico and Tora claimed top-finishing race rookie honors as well.
"The car was very good in the race today," said Tora. "After not qualifying as well as we wished, the team worked very hard to correct the car for today. The race was very interesting for me to drive as well, and it was the most fun on the 'esses' when I was overtaking the other cars on the course. I look forward to doing much better in my next race at Long Beach."
Tora started the race in 25th position, which as predicted by owner Derrick Walker, proved to be a two pit stop race. Tora pitted under the first yellow flag of the race for fuel only on Lap 9. His second stop was under green flag conditions on Lap 48 for four tires and fuel after a spin and a save at the pit entrance the lap before.
"After the kind of weekend we had been having, it was nice to have things start to come back our way during the race," Derrick said. "The car was very good, the Toyota engine performed flawlessly, and Tora took advantage of it. He made some good moves during the race and gained us some good position on the track. He certainly delivered everything we thought he would. He is aggressive when he needs to be and he drove a steady race. When it was time to save fuel he did an excellent job, so we're very pleased. We worked hard for our 10th place finish today and we deserve it.
Round two of the CART FedEx Championship Series will take place on the streets of Long Beach, Calif. on April 8 at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The race will be broadcast at 4 p.m. (ET) on ABC.