Takagi gets Walker drive

Former Grand Prix driver Tora Takagi will race for Walker Racing's one-car team with the aid of support from Toyota. Team boss Derrick Walker unveiled his new driver early today (Photo: Bothwell Photographic)

Takagi gets Walker drive

The Japanese driver, who won all but one race on his way to the 2000 Formula Nippon championship in his homeland, has had his career so far supported by Honda. But he made a surprise switch to Toyota in early November in a bid to get into a better position to get back into F1.

With Toyota building up to entering Formula 1 in 2002, it was suspected that Takagi was being groomed to join Mika Salo in the Toyota GP race team. Testing duties are currently being undertaken by Allan McNish, with Salo starting his programme in January. However, commenting on Takagi's availability for the F1 race drive a Toyota spokesman said; "we are certainly under no pressure to take a Japanese driver."

Walker's CART team has traditionally been Honda-powered, and this year ran another ex-F1 racer in Shinji Nakano. It was a disappointing season for team and driver and with the loss of Honda the Walker looked set to sit out the 2001 CART season and concentrate on its IRL programme with Sarah Fisher.

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