IRL: CHAMPCAR/CART: Walker Race teams Vancouver, Joliet report

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 4, 2001- Walker Racing's CART and IRL teams had a successful double-duty raceday on Sunday, with Tora and the CART team at Vancouver and Sarah and the IRL crew at Chicago. Tora drove the ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 4, 2001- Walker Racing's CART and IRL teams had a successful double-duty raceday on Sunday, with Tora and the CART team at Vancouver and Sarah and the IRL crew at Chicago.

Tora drove the #5 Pioneer/DENSO/Toyota/Reynard/Firestone Special car to a season-best finish of 7th at the Molson Indy Vancouver in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Tora started Sunday's street race in 18th position, and kept moving his way steadily through the field to the checkered flag.

"The race was like a wrestling match from the beginning," Tora said. "There was a lot of contact between cars the entire time, but I had a very good race set-up for the car and was able to race well and pass the other cars, including the race leader who at the time was Tagliani. For our team, this was a great finish, and it gives us a lot more confidence going into the rest of the season."

Sarah and the IRL team traveled to Chicagoland Speedway for the inaugural Delphi Indy 300 on the brand-new 1.5-mile oval track in Joliet, Illinois.

After starting the race in 18th position, Sarah was working her way steadily up through the field and had gotten up to 15th when her #15 Walker Racing/Kroger Special/Oldsmobile/Dallara Firestone car started losing power.

"I fell back from the group I was drafting with and hadn't had that problem before. The engine was losing spark and we got a battery warning so we pitted under yellow to replace it, but that battery instantly drained as well, so we made two more stops to replace those too, but kept having the same problem each time. The guys did a great job in that every time I pitted they got me out before the pace car passed. When something like that happens, you can't keep the engine charging, so we had to retire for the day. Up to that point we were doing exceptionally well, and we had a top ten car. We were coming on strong, so it's disappointing, but I've got my confidence back and am more than ready for a good finish at Texas."

"As the season goes on we are definitely progressing as a unit and we are gaining momentum," said owner Derrick Walker. "I'm very pleased by Tora's performance in Vancouver, he stood on the gas and didn't give up, and we proved we could have a good finish.

It's unfortunate in Sarah's case that we had an electrical problem that was out of our control which forced us to retire early as we were well on our way to demonstrating at Chicago that Sarah is definitely back!"

Both Walker Racing teams will have next weekend off. The CART team will return to action on Sept. 15 for the German 500 at EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany. The IRL will end their season at Texas Motor Speedway on Sept. 16 for the Chevy 500.

-www.walkerracing.com

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Series IndyCar