Besnard's Oz debut

Having announced Michael Valiante for the final round of the Champ Car World Series at Mexico City, Walker Racing has confirmed that Australian tin-top star David Besnard will fill the team's second seat at this weekend's Surfers Paradise race

Besnard's Oz debut

Besnard, who won the US FF2000 championship in 1998 with eight wins, currently drives for the Wright Patton Shakespeare team in the V8 Supercar Series. The 27 year-old Australian will however stand down from the supporting Aussie touring car round at Surfers to concentrate on his Walker Racing commitments.

"David [Besnard] tried to break into Champ Cars some years ago but basically ran out of cash and returned to Australia to forge a career in our V8 Supercar series," said Besnard's Aussie V8 team owner Craig Gore. "When the opportunity arose to get an Aussie behind the wheel [at Surfers], I knew he was an obvious choice and it will be extremely satisfying to see David on the starting grid.

"There have been a lot of people who have helped make this possible, including Kevin Kalkhoven and Derrick Walker, so I'm extremely grateful for their support. The Indy race is extremely popular in Australia and this year we will probably get a record crowd, courtesy of us having a local driver in the field."

Champ Car team owner Derrick Walker agreed that the chance to put a local star in the field is a big bonus. "The Gold Coast has been one of Champ Cars biggest supporters, so it will be great for the fans to have a local guy in the race," he said.

The news adds further weight to the rumour that Walker is gearing up to return to a fulltime two-car programme in next year's championship.

"Finally we are back to a two car team, which I believe will make Walker Racing even more competitive for the last two races of the 2004 Champ Car season," said Walker. "This entry for the Lexmark Indy 300 was finalized late, but we are prepared to campaign two cars in Australia as well as in Mexico City. Hopefully, this is an indication of what is in store for our team in the coming seasons."

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