GRAND-AM Road Racing 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona
January 30, 2011
SECOND-PLACE TEAM CHIP GANASSI RACING WITH FELIX SABATES
An interview with
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA
THE MODERATOR: No. 02 Target Telmex BMW Reilly, drivers, drivers Jamie McMurray, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon.
Q: On the restart, how did the 01 get away from everybody so fast?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: There was a GT car second. They normally move the GT cars to the back, and for some reason the second car in line was a GT. So they all have to check up when they go to the line.
If you look at the replay, you will notice there's a GT car between the -- whatever cars, our cars.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: And everybody checks up, at the start/finish line. Lucky because the main car got a hell of a run, too, and they were almost past us. Plus Scott made a good start, restart?
Q: Juan, you made a good recovery but what happened around 1:55 A.M. when the car went in the garage?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: The car was running really good, we were fast. I lengthened my belt, coming out of four, and as soon as I went to below the yellow line to come into the pits, there was a huge piece of carbon just laying there, like half a nose just laying there and it ripped the whole front of the car. I mean, it sucks that they didn't see it or anything.
We were lucky that I think somebody called it after I hit it and we got a safety car, so we didn't lose more laps. But it's just one of those deals, you know what I mean, there's nothing you can do.
Q: If the car had not been your teammate that won, would you be a lot more angry?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I think from the test we were here, I think the 01 car was a little faster than us. I think last year -- we were talking with Dario last year earlier, last year, we had the car to win. We were way ahead of them and faster than them all day and in practice.
This year, they seemed to have the edge on us.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I think all day they had the edge but towards the end something happened to the 02 car because Scott was really struggling and he never struggles in these things and he was really struggling. So I think that was --
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I don't know if it was the temperature on the truck or something happened but our car, by the end of my run, the car was getting really hard to drive.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: But the guys in the 01 did a great job and I think the whole Telmex Target teams did a great job because they had to rebuild these cars, the 01 and certainly the 02 at times throughout the race (Laughter). It was bloody impressive to come back with a one, two. And we are sitting here disappointed with second, but ultimately as a team effort it was huge.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: We are drivers. We want to win, you know what I mean. You come to the race, you can't go home being happy knowing that you had a chance.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: And there's no championship implications for us.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: We are here just to freaking win. When you finish second, it sucks. That had to be the sugar on it, believe me.
Q: Can you talk about the accomplishment of Chip winning four major trophies in a 12-month period?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: He's going to blush if we do.
JAMIE McMURRAY: I think that for all of us --
DARIO FRANCHITTI: You started it.
JAMIE McMURRAY: It's really quite amazing what Chip's done. And we are all really disappointed, as Juan has kind of said so far.
But when you look at being able to do what Chip's organizations have done and Chip was known for his IndyCar program for a long time and the NASCAR program really wasn't where it needed to be and the GRAND-AM program was winning championships. And I feel like the NASCAR program is as good as it can be right now, doing really well everywhere and to come back and not only win this, but to have a Scott Dixon, it's really amazing what he's been able to do.
I know we are all kind of joking around that we are upset because we have not won and Juan is a little more outspoken than others. But we talked about it before the race was over when you could kind of see that the 01 was going to win and we were coming in second; from a team side of it, it's really amazing for not only this group but just the whole organization what he's been able to accomplish. It's incredible.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I've been with Chip for many years and everything he does is to win. The reason when we talked about doing NASCAR, I thought we would be really good, because I know when he wants to get things done, he'll do whatever it takes to win, and we have proven so, so it's pretty cool. They have a really established IndyCar team, GRAND-AM team and the NASCAR is coming long to that same direction. So, yeah, it's pretty amazing.
Q: You're starting off this season the way you were last year. How big of a boost for the team that it was not just -- the Ganassi teams did well last year and you're already sending a message right off the bat here.
JAMIE McMURRAY: I think we had a really good test down here for Speedweeks. You don't know what you're going to have when you get to the downforce tracks, the mile-and-a-half stuff, but I thought that was probably our best racetracks last year.
And the guys have, I don't really want to give away all of the stuff we have changed but the cars are not exactly the same. They are lighter and we have made them change stuff on the cars and we think that's going to make them faster than what we were. And the Speedway program with the ECR engines is amazing and I think we have had really good cars down here for Speedweeks. I don't want to speak for Juan but I feel way better about going into te season than what I did last year.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Yeah.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I think with the IndyCar program, we share the shop with the GRAND-AM guys and that winning mentality just kind of seeps through the building and if we can keep building on that with the success of both Indy car and GRAND-AM last year in the building and then the GRAND-AM guys winning, a one, two finish, our car, the 02 car, the team is all IndyCar guys kind of moonlighting down here for the week really. It's just a good feeling for the building and a good way to start the year. Boss has a smile on his face, too, so that's always a good thing.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much