Lacroix to drive for Walker Racing in 2008 UPDATE You should know that Steve Caudwell was an early supporter of Scott Goodyear and continued to support him throughout his career as well - and now it looks like he is setting off to do it again with this Canadian - Lacroix. It would be nice to see more of this kind of support by those who have the financial means.
Steve Caudwell and Wayne Deans, both of which are Canadian businessmen, have been connected with Derrick since 1992, when Scott Goodyear ran for the team. Steve, Wayne and Derrick, all ventured together last year in developing the Atlantic program. Steve has some assets in the Atlantic team.
08/14/07 As the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic season came to a close last weekend in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Walker Racing is already making preparations to formulate their driver lineup for 2008. The team is pleased to announce that they will be adding another car to the stable as Canadian Kevin Lacroix and Uni-Select will join Walker Racing for the full season in the Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda in 2008.
After much communication, a successful testing session last October and a long, continued relationship between Walker Racing and Lacroix, the two parties are finally ready to go racing. "It's taken longer than it should have, but it finally came together. I'm glad that we finally signed Kevin (Lacroix) to our Atlantic program for 2008. My partners Steve Caudwell and Wayne Deans have followed Kevin's career for several years now and I speak for all of us when I say we are delighted that we finally have the chance to race together," stated Walker Racing owner Derrick Walker.
Lacroix, a native of Saint-Eustache, Quebec, Canada, got his start competing in various karting series in 1996 winning multiple championships, and continued to move up the ladder finishing second in the 2005 Formula BMW USA championship with four victories and six podiums, finished second in the 2006 Star Mazda championship with five podiums and ten top-five results and earned the Star Mazda Rookie of the Year title. Last October the 18 year old tested with Walker Racing and for 2007 joined Brooks Racing Champ Car Atlantic program in Portland scoring his first Champ Car Atlantic victory in just his second career start at Portland.
"First of all, I want to start by thanking John Brooks and his team for all that they have done for me. I will never forget that John was the one who gave me my first shot at the Champ Car Atlantic Series and also my first win. This last race of the year, I'm really trying hard to provide the best possible results as a token of appreciation. Secondly, I'm truly happy that I will be running with Walker Racing next season. This is for me, the chance of a lifetime to take part in this highly competitive series with a 'top notch' team, and aim for nothing less than the championship title. I also need to thank Uni-Select and its CEO, Mr. Jacques Landreville and all of top management for believing in me and supporting me through this adventure," said Lacroix.
Teaming up with the Canadian for the season is primary sponsor Uni-Select, a Canadian based company who unites more than 2,000 independent jobbers in developing optimal means of distribution for motor vehicle replacement parts, tools, equipment and accessories. Uni-Select was created in 1968 and now boasts a sales volume of $1,123 billion reaching markets in the U.S. and throughout Canada, making them a solid business in the North American marketplace.
"We are happy and pleased to support Kevin. Kevin is a very talented athlete who possesses everything one needs to become a champion. We wish him, and all of Walker Racing, success for the 2008 program," commented Uni-Select CEO Jacques Landreville.
Walker Racing's Champ Car Atlantic program utilizes sponsorships raised to provide the financial engine to power its activity. Partnering in the venture are Canadian businessmen, Steve Caudwell and Wayne Deans, who joined forces with Derrick Walker as key contributors to help create the structure of the program. The Canadian duo are avid supporters of the Champ Car Atlantic Series and take an invested interest in promoting young Canadian talent.
Wayne Deans is co-founder of Deans Knight, a capital management company formed in 1992, which has grown into one of Canada's leading financial management firms. Fellow Canadian Steve Caudwell founded Wasteco in the late 1970's providing services in waste management and recycling across North America.
"As a native of Montreal, it is a pleasure for me to be a part of a program that puts a fine young Quebec driver, like Kevin, in one of our cars. The province of Quebec has a rich history in the world of car racing and to be a part of this is a thrill for me," stated Wayne Deans, co-founder of Deans Knight.
Walker Racing established the Champ Car Atlantic program in 2005 announcing the move at the Champ Car World Series Surfer's Paradise race in Australia. Their first season was a success as they earned the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic championship title with Frenchman Simon Pagenaud. With Champ Car Atlantic being a feeder series, Pagenaud's success enabled him to move up to Walker's Champ Car team. Committed to help young talent grow, Walker Racing will continue preparing for the 2008 season.