CART FedEx Championship Series June 25, 2002 An interview with Luis Diaz Part 2 of 2 Q: You laughed when you said you tried to play golf in Laguna. I take it that you and golf don't get along very well? Luis Diaz: No, not really. But I...
CART FedEx Championship Series
June 25, 2002
An interview with Luis Diaz
Part 2 of 2
Q: You laughed when you said you tried to play golf in Laguna. I take it that you and golf don't get along very well?
Luis Diaz: No, not really. But I need to practice a little bit more (laughs), because almost all the sponsors play golf, so if I want more money, I need to play better.
Merrill Cain: Good insight there, Louis, we appreciate that.
Q: You got in with a wonderful team in the Atlantic Series. How did that happen, and what do you think about the team and Jon (Fogarty), and how you all are working together?
Luis Diaz: Well, I started to work very hard last year with my sponsors because I knew it that if I wanted to fight the Championship in the Atlantic Series, I need to be with a good team like Dorricott, so I start to work with my sponsors, and then I spend a lot of hours with Bob Dorricott trying to convince him to choose me in the team. So finally he chose me and well, I mean, they gave me the best engineer (Tyler) It's an honor for me to work with him because he's-- for me he's the best. Unfortunately we have very bad luck in the first couple of races, but I think we have a very good chance for the Championship this year. I would like to be very competitive driver for the team. I would like to help the team like Jon and Alex (Gurney) are helping the team, and the other side, it's very hard to be there because it is always very competitive, Jon and Alex, they are always very fast even in the test days, so it's very hard for me, but I am learning a lot, and I am improving a lot too, so I feel great.
Q: Do you share information with Alex and Jon or does the team, you know, so you all kind of do it as a group or are you kind of on your own in there?
Luis Diaz: No, we share all the information. I think that's the part of the big success of Dorricott Racing that we share everything except girlfriends. So yeah, we share everything.
Q: How does it feel going into a race knowing that you always will have a car that can run at the front?
Luis Diaz: Well, that gave me a lot of confidence because the only thing that I need to be worried about to not make mistakes in the race and when you have that backup with you, it feels great.
Merrill Cain: Just to clarify as well, we talked about the dominance of Dorricott Racing, three drivers, all three in the top six in the points standing now Toyota Atlantics. We mentioned Jon Fogarty leading the point standings. Luis is currently fifth and his teammate, Alex Gurney is sixth, just one point in back of Luis in the standings.
Kind of an interesting thing that we're talking about with the ladder system here coming up through the Barber Dodge ranks and Toyota Atlantic and, of course, up to Champ Cars, but Telmex one of the sponsors, obviously one of your sponsors as well, has its own kind of ladder system which includes obviously Adrian Fernandez racing in Champ Cars, Memo Rojas in Barber Dodge, Luis Palayo in the National Championships. Would you tell us a little bit about what goes on with Telmex in how they are trying to garner and foster these young Mexican drivers as they come up in the ranks in the CART ladder system.
Luis Diaz: Yeah, Telmex is one of the biggest companies in Latin America and fortunately one of the directors of Telmex, he's a very passionate person about racing. So he wants to make like a program like the Brazilians have with Petrobras and they wanted to help the Mexican drivers to support the best Mexican drivers and take them to the top of the big leagues like the CART Series, or maybe, I don't know, Formula 1, so they gave us all the support, the money; they look for us for to be in the best teams, in the best series, and I think it's working. I mean all the people here in Mexico, they are very happy about the results that we have this year, and they believe in Mexican drivers, so I believe it's our responsibility to bring them good results and to keep this program working.
Q Because of the system that Telmex has in place there and because of CART increasing its presence in Mexico - adding the race in Mexico City this year a great turnout from our race in Monterey earlier in the year - do you notice that a lot of up-and-coming young Mexican drivers on the horizon, do you interact with them very often and do we see another Luis Diaz coming down the road very shortly?
Luis Diaz: Yeah, actually here in Mexico we have a lot of good drivers, you know, good boys that they are starting in the go-karting and we have a lot of drivers waiting for opportunity here. Another thing of this program that Telmex had, for example, if I don't have good results well, the other guy who is in Barber Dodge if he's having good results, they can switch this guy instead of me, so I have a lot of pressure too, I mean, all the guys that are involved in this program, we have a lot of pressure, we need to bring good results. If not, we're done.
Merrill Cain: Does seem like a lot of pressure. Luis, we appreciate you joining us on today's teleconference. We wish you the best of luck in the Toyota Atlantic event this weekend in Chicago and we'll see you on the track.
Luis Diaz: Okay, and thank you very much.
Merrill Cain: I'd like to thank both drivers for joining us on this week's CART Media Teleconference. As we said both drivers will be on track this weekend at the CART Grand Prix of Chicago. Just a reminder, the Champ Car race can be seen live on CBS television this Sunday with air time scheduled for 3:30 P.M. Eastern Time. Thanks to all who participated in today's phone call. We appreciate your participation. Have a very good afternoon.
Luis Diaz press conference part I