Ford Racing quotes and statistics on TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Long Beach Grand Prix race.
No. 01 Telcel Ford EcoBoost Riley - Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
SCOTT PRUETT: “I have to take my hat off to all the drivers out there. When you see that level, between the P cars and the GTLM, that group of guys together, you get a flawless race like we saw today. Everybody was out there racing hard, everybody was out there racing close, but they were also giving room when they needed to and making really good things.”
YOU NEVER HAD A LEAD OF MUCH MORE THAN 2 ½ SECONDS FOR THE ENTIRE RACE, YET IT KIND OF LOOKED LIKE YOU WERE CRUISING THE WHOLE TIME. WE KNOW YOU WEREN’T BUT WAS THAT KIND OF THE MODE YOU HAVE TO PUT YOURSELF IN TO KEEP CLICKING THOSE LAPS OFF? “It was, for me, I saw where the 10 car was and we were all running hard. It was just short of a qualifying lap the whole time. You were trying to go as fast as you could, but also hit your marks to be able to keep those times lap after lap after lap after lap. Then with the traffic, sometimes it got jammed up with traffic and he was able to get closer, and sometimes the traffic worked for me. It was close the whole time. When you get 100 minutes like that and no yellows and you can throw a blanket over the top three cars, I think that says a lot about the direction of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and what we’re doing and where we’re going.”
IN YOUR PRE-GAME PLAN, YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T EXPECT THIS RACE TO GO WITHOUT A YELLOW. HOW DOES THAT AFFECT THE TEAM STRATEGY, SORT OF HAVING TO MAKE THOSE ON THE FLY, AND WHAT YOU GUYS AS DRIVERS HAVE TO DO? “We knew there was a good chance we could go green. I’ve been here for an IndyCar race, and it went green the whole time. I’ve been here for an IndyCar race and it was just littered with yellows. When you looked at each of the sessions, we virtually had zero yellows because of any sort of crashes. A yellow came out because more of a mechanical issue than guys making bad decisions. I think we were prepared either way, to look at a full green race like we saw today or we would’ve changed up our strategy for sure if we were to start seeing yellows, and depending on when those yellows came out. It was a one-stop race, but if the yellow came in 10 laps, we probably would’ve stopped. The way it worked out, there was no decision. You go as far as you could, stopped to fill it up and went to the checkered.”
MEMO ROJAS: AFTER A ROUGH START IN DAYTONA AND WITH THE TWO SERIES COMING TOGETHER NOW, DO YOU HAVE THE THOUGHT PROCESS THAT YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO PROVE? “It’s not a matter of wanting to prove something, we just want to win races. We knew coming up to the merger with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and with IMSA there was going to be a lot of challenges and I think we’re still in the middle of that process. It’s obviously going very well and we’re all happy with the outcome so far and the future that lies ahead, but technically on the sport’s side of it, it’s been really challenging for all of the teams, getting the cars up to spec and developing the cars. After the first two races, we’ve already learned so much about the car that we didn’t know in Daytona. It’s a process. I know the LMP2 cars haven’t had to change their cars that much, so for the DP cars I think it’s been a greater challenge as far as resources and development. But we’re all in the situation where every weekend, we could learn something new. It’s going to be like that all year. I expect the competition to get tougher every weekend.”
JAMIE ALLISON, Director of Ford Racing: “How about this EcoBoost technology? It’s really opening a new chapter in Ford Racing history and (Ford Motor Company) history. What’s so monumental is that one of our last big wins here in Long Beach was in 1987, we won here with none other than Scott Pruett (in Trans-Am). It’s great to come back to a place that’s familiar to everyone, but this time with Ford EcoBoost under these Ford DPs.”
JOHN MADDOX, Roush Yates Engines: “It’s hard to count on wins, but it’s really good to know that we’re with two really good teams. We covered the front row here with our EcoBoost engines. It’s been spectacular. All the people at our shop in every department have worked hard and dedicated themselves to excellence in this program. It’s been great. We’re happy to win; happy to be associated with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, with Ford Racing, with Michael Shank Racing. It’s just been good all-around.”
No. 60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ford EcoBoost Riley - Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian
OZZ NEGRI: “It’s pretty frustrating, but that’s racing. All I can say is we worked hard. We had what we wanted, it just wasn’t meant to be. I really don’t know what to think or what to say. I had high expectations. At the end of the day, I’m happy with the speed. I’ve never had so much fun driving the car in my whole career. I just wanted to put the hammer down and say hey, we were here.”
JOHN PEW: “(The first time) I was a little bit wide of the braking zone. The car wasn’t downshifting. It stayed in sixth gear the whole time and I was just trying to decide what to do and hammering the brakes. It wasn’t a large hit, just a tiny tap into the wall. Then I couldn’t get it out of sixth gear. Then I tried to get it in reverse, which took awhile. Took a few laps, I think. I finally got it around and out again. Then the car was fine for awhile. It could’ve been fairly competitive. Then going into Turn 8, I knew Michael (Valiante) was coming. I knew he was coming into the corner, into the apex, so I left him a little bit of space. He was kind of in front of me. Hit the curb and spun right in front of me and I just hit him. Then I came down the straightaway and after that the engine just died…It was a sensor that went. I don’t know if we hit something or what. It was just a bad day at the office, that’s for sure. The car was definitely capable. I think we had a really good shot. I feel really bad. Once I started to get freight-trained at the start, if I had just let those guys go by we would’ve been fine. So it’s partly my fault too.”
FORD ECOBOOST FINAL RACE RESULTS
1/1 01 (*Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas) – 1:40:46.184 (77 laps) 19/9 60 (*Ozz Negri, John Pew) – 1:23:19.577 (39 laps, 38 laps down)
(*)Last driver in car.
FORD ECOBOOST STARTING POSITIONS
1 01 (*Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas) – 1:15.325, 94.056 mph
2 60 (*Ozz Negri, John Pew) – 1:15.366, 94.005 mph
(*) Driver qualified.
(* *) First pole position for Ford EcoBoost engine in TUDOR Championship competition.
Ford at Long Beach
Overall Wins: 17
F1 = 5 (1977, 1980-3)
Trans-Am = 1 (1987)
IMSA GTO = 1 (1990)
CART/IndyCar = 6 (2003-8)
World Challenge = 3 (2009-GT, 2011-GTS/GT)
TUDOR United SportsCar Championship = 2014.
Drivers Powered by Ford to Victory Lane (Includes Ford Cosworth/Double Four Valve)
F1 – Mario Andretti (1977); Nelson Piquet (1980); Alan Jones (1981); Niki Lauda (1982); John Watson (1983).
Trans-Am – Scott Pruett (1987).
IMSA GTO – Dorsey Schroeder (1990).
CART/IndyCar – Paul Tracy (2003-4); Sebastien Bourdais (2005-7); Will Power (2008).
World Challenge – Brandon Davis (2009, 2011); Paul Brown (2011).
TUDOR United SportsCar Championship – Scott Pruett (2014); Memo Rojas (2014).