Ryan Lewis joins Walker Racing
Ryan Lewis will compete for the Champ Car Atlantic crown with Walker Racing in 2007. After a successful rookie season, Ryan moves over to the 2006 Championship-winning team this year, putting himself firmly back on target for single-seater success. He will partner Swiss driver, Simona De Silvestro, who also joined the team recently.
Ryan stormed to the British F3 Scholarship Championship title in 2004 before moving up to the top class in 2005. A troubled season took the young British driver's eye off the F3 title chase and by the start of 2006 it looked like Ryan would retire from racing. What a difference a year makes! Ryan headed Stateside in 2006 and set about proving his doubters wrong. Finishing second in his first Atlantic race he completed a part season with the Mi-Jack Conquest team where his competitiveness drew praise from such luminaries as Bobby Rahal.
Under the leadership of Derrick Walker, Walker Racing has a fantastic history as a Champ Car team, fielding great drivers such as Gil de Ferran, Alex Tagliani and Christian Fittipaldi. The team's first foray into the Atlantic Championship produced a title for Simon Pagenaud in 2006 with seven podiums and a win for the Frenchman.
"I can't wait for the season to start now," said Ryan. "It is going to be great to drive for Derrick Walker as he has such a strong reputation and is one of the real characters of single-seater racing. There is obviously the opportunity for progression into the Champ Car World Series but before I even think about that I need to get my head down and make every race count in 2007"
'Securing Ryan Lewis is an important part of our 2007 line up and our efforts to retain the Atlantic Championship for a second year in a row. This first test has been a success, Ryan and Simona bonded well and we learned some new directions in car set ups to make things look well for another good season,' stated Walker Racing owner Derrick Walker.
Ryan has just returned from a productive test in Moroso, Florida, in order to appear at Autosport International. He will be appearing on the main at Autosport stage tomorrow (Friday 12th, 1415hrs) to talk about the season ahead and will also be taking part in a kart race to raise money for charity later that day. Ryan's next outing for Walker Racing will be pre-season testing at Sebring on 27 January. Credit: ryanlewisracing.co.uk
Walker Racing Press Release
Indianapolis, IN - Walker Racing announced today that they have signed Brit Ryan Lewis to join the team’s line-up for the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. He will partner with Swiss, Simona De Silvestro, who signed with the team in November.
Lewis, a native of Hertfordshire, England will make his comeback to the Atlantic series this season. The 22-year-old came out of a successful 2006 Atlantic rookie year as he competed for the Mi-Jack Conquest team, scoring three podiums and four top-five finishes. Prior to that Lewis competed in the highly competitive British F3 Scholarship Championship where he posted 17 victories, 15 poles and recorded 17 fastest laps winning the British F3 scholarship class before moving up to the British F3 International series.
Walker Racing and Lewis hit the pavement earlier this week as they tested at Moroso Motorsports Park in Jupiter, Florida on January 9th and 10th. Joining the team in the test was De Silvestro, Formula Renault UK standout, Irishman Patrick Hogan, and Walker’s Formula BMW USA squad who tested two hopefuls Felipe Poletto and Giancarlo Vilarinho.
This marks the third series of tests for the team and the first for Lewis, as he demonstrated his on track talent today for the Walker crew. “It’s great to have Ryan on board, obviously coming off of a strong first year in Atlantics last year we are keen to try and get back to back championships. The first test was a success and Ryan showed us he’s got the speed,” stated Walker Racing owner Derrick Walker.
Anticipating a rewarding and challenging year, Lewis looks forward to competing for the reigning championship team. “Obviously I’m very happy to join the winning team and hopefully I can live up to the potential the guys have set,” said Lewis. “We had a good test, but the main thing we achieved is that we learned how to work together. The Walker Racing team is a great group to work with and they push me hard at every step. It’s a great environment for me to be in. I can’t wait for the season to start.”
Walker Racing made the jump to run an Atlantic team last season, announcing the move at the Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfer’s Paradise, Australia. 2006 marked the first year for the team and a very good season at that, as they brought home the 2006 Atlantic Championship title with Frenchman rookie Simon Pagenaud.
Not only was it a beneficial test for Lewis and the Indianapolis based squad, but for all the drivers that participated. Walker Racing got down to business right away making a number of improvements and changes to the car while also giving, De Silvestro, Hogan, Poletto and Vilarinho more seat time.
With the hopes of a second Atlantic Championship crown and a successful third series of tests tucked underneath their belts the team continues to formulate their 2007 line-up. Walker Racing will take part in pre-season testing in Sebring, Florida January 27-29. For more information on Walker Racing, please visit www.walkerracing.com.