Walker Racing will be back to a two car entry for this weekends Lexmark Indy 300 at Surfers Paradise, with V8 Supercar driver David Besnard stepping in to partner Mario Haberfeld for the Australian event.

With Canadian driver Michael Valiante driving a second Walker entry for the final round of the year in Mexico City next month, it now appears that the team is gearing up for full-time two-car effort in the coming seasons.

"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," team owner Derrick Walker said. "This entry for the Lexmark Indy 300 was finalised 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.

"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. The Walker Racing team is looking forward to working with David and the folks at Wright Patton Shakespeare and are confident that we can have a successful race."

Besnard is no stranger to American open-wheel cars, having run two years in the U.S. F2000 series, winning the title on the strength of eight wins and eight poles in 1998. He currently drives for the Wright Patton Shakespeare V8 Supercar team, but will forgo his V8 driving responsibilities in Surfers Paradise to run the #15 Walker Racing Reynard Ford-Cosworth, which will be sponsored by Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group, in the main event.

Craig Gore, owner of the WPS Racing team, is delighted his man will be able to take his place on the Champ Car grid, a drive which came about when Josh Hunt elected to turn down the drive to focus on securing a second season in the Toyota Atlantic series.

"David tried to break into the Champ Cars some years ago but basically ran out of cash and he returned to Australia to forge a career in our V8 Supercar series," Gore said. "When the opportunity arose to get an Aussie behind the wheel at Indy 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."