IN HIS OWN WORDS: TYLER TADEVIC Braselton, Ga. - Something old has become something new. When Corvette "retired" its C5-R in favor of the new C6-R, it afforded Tyler Tadevic and his Pacific Coast Motorsports the racing opportunity he'd ...
IN HIS OWN WORDS: TYLER TADEVIC
Braselton, Ga. - Something old has become something new. When Corvette "retired" its C5-R in favor of the new C6-R, it afforded Tyler Tadevic and his Pacific Coast Motorsports the racing opportunity he'd been searching for.
Tadevic, team president and director, along with drivers Ryan Dalziel and Alex Figge, may be new to the ALMS ranks, but the team made quite a name for itself in Toyota Atlantic competition and entered the ALMS as a privateer entrant in the GT1 class. Sponsored by Menard's (and as of Monday also by Ironclad), the team finished ninth overall at the Grand Prix of Atlanta after beginning the race in 12th position.
"We're not where we want to be," Tadevic admits, "but the journey is getting better." Tadevic, who founded Pacific Coast in 2002, touched on this and several other topics with americanlemans.com:
Q: What are the short-range and long-range goals for your team?
Tyler Tadevic: "Short-term, we want to expedite the learning curve. Long-term, we want to be able to beat the factory teams."
Q: In terms of what you're experiencing thus far, how is your first ALMS season treating you?
TT: "We're doing fine. It's been a whirlwind. We have an older car, as you know, and we've had a few issues with it. That, and our own lack of (ALMS) experience. It's an ongoing process for any car with any setup. We will continue to test as much as we can. A lot of what we do this season is going to be with next year in mind."
Q: Such as?
TT: "We'd like to run something newer in 2006, and we have a long way to go in terms of chassis development and in terms of tires. But we'll get there."
Q: Your first two races, how would you assess them?
TT: "We're pretty happy, though we weren't as happy with Road Atlanta as we were after Sebring. The reason for that is at Road Atlanta, we had to spend so much time working on getting the push out of the car. Then, as the race got closer, the car got so incredibly loose that we spent the whole time getting the chassis back (to where it needed to be). Ryan and Alex both love driving the car, and it is incredibly fast. We feel now we have a much better handle on things and we are looking forward to running at Mid-Ohio."
Q: Can you describe what help you've received from Pratt-Miller?
TT: "Well, they know the car the best because it used to be theirs. The biggest help they've given us is information on the chassis. After Road Atlanta, they brought their entire crew over to our trailer and went over the car from top to bottom; they were very helpful in making sure it was safe and reliable."
Q: Is this the package you'll run for the rest of the season?
TT: "For the most part, yes. We really have to look at this year from two perspectives: Do the very best we can, and continue to improve, but with an eye on what we will be able to accomplish next season and down the road. In conjunction with Yokohama, we are continuing to develop the tires, and this is their first stab at GT1 racing. All in all, I would say that we have done deceptively well (to date), and yet we are so far from where we want to be."
Q: How do you plan to close the gap?
TT: "By testing as often as we can, and at as many places where the ALMS races are going to be run. We plan right now to test at Infineon, Road America and Mosport in advance of those events."
The next ALMS race is the American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio, set for noon EDT May 22 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. CBS Sports will broadcast the event from 1 to 3 p.m. EDT, and live coverage will be available on American Le Mans Series Radio at www.americanlemans.com.