2012 IICS Firestone 550k Pre-Race Q&A with Chevrolet Racing Drivers, Rubens Barrichello and Ryan Briscoe

[media-credit name=”texasmotorspeedway.com” align=”alignright” width=”400″][/media-credit]RUBENS BARRICHELLO, NO. 8 BMC/EMBRASE KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET AND RYAN BRISCOE, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, met with member of the media at Texas Motor Speedway to discuss preparations for Saturday’s running of the Firestone 500 for the IZOD IndyCar Series. Quotes from press conference:


ON HIS FIRST RACE AT TEXAS: “Apart from the little running I had in May, I’ve been watching videos and watching all the data, and everything to see how—to see what the racing’s like. The drivers are all very, VERY concerned not to have any pack racing for our safety, and I’m just learning from everything that is quite new, and I hope that we have a safe and very good race. I think that everyone likes being here.”

American Muscle

ON EVER SEEING ANYTHING LIKE TMS BEFORE IN HIS CAREER: “The only thing I’ve seen in my life was when we were in traffic getting out of the Monza Circuit (Italy). We were diverted to the old banking. (SMILES) I don’t know how many degrees was that. When I got here, and TK (Tony Kanaan) took me around in a normal car; we took a picture of the track off of turn one. It is amazing. It’s amazing. Take a picture from the top, and you can hardly see you. It’s really neat. Honestly, I don’t know anything about the racing.”

ON HIS SEASON SO FAR: “If you look at the six weeks, you have to include Indy. I think Indy was quite good. I don’t think I had a fast car. I had a rookie sensation there. I was driving with every car the way I like to ride. It was a good ride. I wasn’t taking myself to being in danger. I had to learn things. I could have been different into that last 20 laps that would have given me a top-six spot very clearly. Like I said, I didn’t have the car to win, but probably had a top-six, and it was good enough. With my sense from Formula 1 just a year ago, watching Indy and thinking ‘Yes, we can do this; we can do that’, we know nothing. It is unbelievable how different it is from the other cars. Downforce wise. Just working with somebody to pull away from other people. Overtaking on the outside is just so different. It was really, really different. It took me by surprise, somewhat. Some of that happened in the last 20 laps. We move on to Detroit. It was a very sad weekend in a way, because I wasn’t competitive. I was having trouble, not just with the setup, but with the car. We took a gamble and change chassis. I started in the back. I was running quite ok because it was the very first time I was able to overtake people until I had some problems with the electronics and the car started to misfire. We tried to go back out and it didn’t work. I was quite happy with the car at that time. The thing that I am saying I could have 70 years of experience when you come into a different series, and different tracks, and different so on; especially with Detroit being so bumpy. It was hard to get a read on everything. Just need more time.”

ON HOW DIFFERENT INDYCAR IS FROM F1: “It’s so different. So so different. If people had told me I would have got out of the car and feel sick…I didn’t feel sick, but I saw the world moving a little bit. It’s different. It’s just different. Like I said before, if the IndyCar Series were done in Europe or the races I had done, I’m pretty sure I was going to be a lot more competitive because it is a new thing. From the setup to the lines to everything that these guys have been doing for such a long time. It is very different. I’m very competitive as a person, and as a driver. I’m trying my best to conform with everything. Texas still does not rank, because I do not know what to expect.” 


ON HIS HUGE FOLLOWING ON TWITTER (1,692,273 as of now): “I never entered the Twitter thing thinking that I needed to have more followers than others. Probably that’s what happened. That’s why I end up having them. I do think that fans want that. I didn’t do that because of the sponsors. I didn’t do that because I wanted just to give TV the kind of thing people do to have fans follow them. Probably that is why I have a lot of followers, because I just have their respect. We just have conversations and things like this. This weekend, for example, people in Brazil is yesterday and today days off, and they are having easy time. For them, to watch a race on a Saturday night is probably going to be a really nice evening with a bit of pizza, some soft drinks and just watch. I guess they are following the Twitter very closely this weekend. I might work on the Twitter in the future in terms of getting more publicity, and I do {have} my sponsors on my page just to make obviously a happening for them. But, it’s not like I use the Twitter for anything more than getting this relationship with the fans, which I think is great.”


ON RETURNING TO TEXAS: “I’ve always enjoyed racing here, it’s one of those tracks that you always look forward to coming to and you’re happy to leave. It’s just fast, big banking, it’s always exciting racing, pretty hair-raising and part of the beauty of the diversity of this series.”

ON GETTING RIGHT SETUP UNDER CARS FOR THIS WEEKEND: “When we were here back in February with TK (Tony Kanaan), we came with the downforce level that we went away from saying we need to have less. IndyCar made changes. We came back here with the group, the whole field basically. I think it was close then. In Detroit, we all put our heads together again, and it was unanimous decision to reduce the downforce further for this weekend just so we are sort of getting out of that mentality of coming to this circuit and just being wide open. I’ve never been here and thought I am going to have to start work on the racing line, and breathe it going into the corners, whatever. When you get the whole field going out and running wide open for at least 20 laps in a stint; that creates pack racing. We are on a bit of a mission as drivers to try to improve the safety of the Series. Certainly after Vegas, this is the next mile-and-a-half oval we’re doing, and we want to make the right steps towards making it safer. Getting cars off of running right on top of one another. I think we’ll have to see. We’ll run this (practice) session out here and see how the cars are. I expect there to be a little bit of a spread between cars. It is probably going to change our philosophy of how you win a race around this track. It’s going to be kind of a new event for us all; I think they way we are going to race. I am pretty excited about that. It’s been good to see all the drivers working together to improve the safety.”

About Chevrolet: 

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.


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