AMBROSE IN TOP FIVE IN MEXICO PRACTICE Marcos Ambrose has finished in the top five of both practice sessions for the Corona Mexico 200 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City today. Ambrose was fourth fastest in the opening...
AMBROSE IN TOP FIVE IN MEXICO PRACTICE
Marcos Ambrose has finished in the top five of both practice sessions for the Corona Mexico 200 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City today.
Ambrose was fourth fastest in the opening practice session of the weekend in the #59 Kingsford Hickory Ford Fusion, before backing up that effort with fifth fastest in final practice later in the day.
Today's speed is a positive sign for Ambrose ahead of the first road course event of the season. The Australian is still looking to improve his car's set-up ahead of qualifying tomorrow.
Kyle Busch and Scott Pruett topped today's two practice sessions, with those two drivers joined by Ford drivers Colin Braun and Ambrose as posting top five times in both sessions.
Q & A with Marcos Ambrose - #59 Kingsford Hickory Ford Fusion
Q: HOW IS THIS COMPARED TO THE OTHER ROAD COURSES YOU'VE SEEN?
MA: "It's a pretty simple road course. It's a good race track. It's Mexico, so the fans get excited. It's a long race. You've got to look out for your gear here, the gearbox, brakes and stuff. The pit strategy and all that stuff comes into play here, too. There's a lot going on."
Q: WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT IT IS SIMPLE?
MA: "It's flat and the corners are fairly standard corners. They're not anything radical out there. There's no off-camber corners. There's no rough patches, so much. It's a fairly standard race track."
Q: YOU'VE STATED THAT YOU'RE RACING HERE FOR THE OVALS, BUT DOES THE ROAD COURSE GIVE YOU A SENSE OF COMFORT?
MA: "We'll see. If we run well, I guess. But I feel like I can run well here. I feel confident that we have a better car than we had here last year so we can run a strong top 10."
Q: HOW DOES THE SPACER MAKE RACING DIFFERENT?
MA: "I don't think the spacer makes that much different, it's just going to slow us down some, maybe take a second off a lap time or so. The race will still play out the same. I think fuel strategy, tire conservation and all that will still play a major part. You might see a little bit of drafting with the new motor package because there is less horsepower for everybody especially if you run in the wind."
Q: YOU CAN DRAFT ON A ROAD COURSE?
MA: "Oh, yeah, drafting is big on a road course. It's a different technique, but if you're running behind someone and you're going to catch him because you have less air going over your car."
IS THAT A TECHNIQUE ALL DRIVERS HAVE OR IS THAT A ROAD RACER TECHNIQUE?
MA: "It's a road racing deal. I've run a lot of races where drafting is huge. With small cars with no power, you gain a lot of time in a pack because you're helping each other get along with the wind. As soon get a lot of horsepower, the drafting goes away on a road course."
Q: IS QUALIFYING UP FRONT KEY HERE?
MA: "I don't think so, I don't think so at all. I think you've just got to be in position on the last pit stop in the pit sequence to come out in the top-10 and then it's a race to be won."
Q: DO YOU RELY ON DRIVER ERROR? NOT YOURS BUT OTHERS?
MA: "There is going to be a lot of driver error out there. I think if you don't make a mistake and you have a safe strategy on the stops and everything, you should be in good position. You don't have to do anything special, you've just got to not make too many mistakes. If you spin off at the wrong time, flat spot a tire, or down change badly and damage the gearbox, then that's what is going to put you out of the race."