Walker racing signs Mansell brothers
With the 2008 season right around the corner, Walker Racing is pleased to announce that it has completed its driver line up adding two more cars to the stable, as Leo and Greg Mansell will join the team to compete in the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda.
Leo, Nigel and Greg Mansell
Walker Racing is both flattered and excited to have the Mansell duo, sons of 1993 Champ Car and 1992 Formula One champion Nigel Mansell. After spending two years competing in Europe, the Mansells wanted to give American open-wheel racing a try after completing a very successful test in the Walker Racing machines back in October.
“The decision by Greg, Leo and Nigel is a huge one in making the next step in their racing career by coming to the Atlantic series. The Atlantic series has a lot to offer and sends a positive message that this formula is the place to go. For Walker Racing it’s going to be a pleasure and an honor to be working with the Mansells. The whole team is really looking forward to working with all three of them and I think it’s going to be a great season,” stated Walker Racing owner Derrick Walker.
“What a tremendous challenge and adventure we will all have in 2008. A fantastic series revisiting some wonderful venues which will bring back such fond memories of when I last raced in Champ Cars. This is a fantastic opportunity for Leo and Greg,” commented Nigel Mansell.
The two brothers have always competed on the same teams together starting out in go-karts, making their way up the open wheel ladder, competing in the Formula BMW UK championship in 2006 and the British F3 International Series in 2007. The duo wanted to try the Atlantic series due to its international appeal and potential for moving forward in the ranks of professional racing.
Greg, the youngest of the Mansells, finished 10th in the British F3 International Series with three podiums and 16 top-10 finishes. The 19-year-old is ready for the adventure, “As Dad has said, it is an incredible adventure. I can remember a number of things in America but I was only small then. The cars are very demanding to drive, the test at Sebring was a wonderful experience, carrying so much speed in the corners suits my driving style and I am very excited about the forthcoming season. Working with Walker Racing is a major step up in professionalism.”
Older brother Leo is ready for the ride in 2008, “For the first time ever I have been shocked at how a good car feels. The brakes, the handling and the aerodynamics of the car and the balance was the best I have ever driven, it gives me so much more confidence and I am extremely excited at the opportunity of competing in the Champ Car Atlantic series with a hundred more horsepower and more aerodynamics. The car is far more challenging than the Formula 3 cars, but because of the balance of the car and the professionalism of the team, I have so much more confidence and a lot more speed in the car. It is as Dad has said a great adventure we are embarking on in 2008.”
Walker Racing Livery
The Mansell duo will be joined by teammate, Canadian Kevin Lacroix who will pilot the Uni-Select entry for Walker Racing. 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 10 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 the Brooks Associates Racing Champ Car Atlantic program in Portland, scoring his first Champ Car Atlantic victory in just his second career start in the second race of a doubleheader at Portland.
2008 also marks a new era for Walker Racing, which established the Champ Car Atlantic program in 2005 announcing the move at the Champ Car World Series Surfers Paradise race in Australia. The team’s first season was a success as it earned the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic championship title with Frenchman Simon Pagenaud. As it enters its third year of competition, Walker Racing will be introducing a new paint scheme. The three Atlantic pilots will fly the new livery of red, white and blue. Mazda is joining the team in is efforts by helping the team unveil its new livery this week at the L.A. Auto Show. The show runs from November 13 through November 24.
Walker Racing looks forward to 2008 not only for the team, but for the Mazda family, and the Champ Car Atlantic Championship. The team will be out to reclaim the 2008 Atlantic championship and run at the top of the grid with Greg and Leo Mansell and Kevin LaCroix as they resume testing in January. For more updates on the team please visit www.walkerracing.com. Walker Racing PR