EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WTH STARWORKS TEAM OWNER PETER BARON AFTER FOUR RACES A week before the fifth round of the 2010 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, we sat down with Starworks Motorsport's Peter Baron, who re-launched his team last January, and...
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WTH STARWORKS TEAM OWNER PETER BARON AFTER FOUR RACES
A week before the fifth round of the 2010 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, we sat down with Starworks Motorsport's Peter Baron, who re-launched his team last January, and asked him where his Starworks Motorsport team stands after four of twelve races this season.
You re-launched Starworks five months ago and already scored great results. Are you surprised with your good results so far?
"I'm not too surprised, because this is we what were expecting and we're naturally pushing for better results. We earned a podium finish at one race so far and had other strong showings. Our cars are quick but we still want to push hard for a few wins this year. With the talented people that we have assembled, we are expecting even better results. We are not going to be satisfied until we get out first 1-2 finish."
How do you rate your driver's line-up after four events?
"The combination of Mike Forest and Ryan Dalziel has been working great so far. I think Mike's coming up to speed nicely and they're having the same driving styles and I think Mike will even get better and better.
This car has been in front competing for wins since Homestead."
"Bill Lester has done a great job since the Rolex 24 At Daytona. We're had a logistical nightmare with Kasper Andersen getting over here from Europe for VIR. Bill has unfortunately been teamed up with a different teammate for each race, and that's been a bit disappointing. Now he will be teamed with Kasper Andersen and Nelson Philippe for the remainder of the season. Kasper has shown some great speed as at Lime Rock and it is just a matter of time for him to be 100% confident with the car. I would expect Bill and Kasper in the #7 Flex-Box car to be competing for wins on a regular basis soon."
If you had more time at the beginning of the season what would you have done differently?
"We started work on the #7 car chassis right around New Year's Eve and the #8 car chassis didn't show up until 2 weeks before Homestead. If we had more time it would be nice to go back and strip these cars down and build these cars up identically. We're still trying to make the cars similar with plumbing, fuel system, air jack system, etc. The more similar we can make the cars the easier it will be for both sets of crews to work on them at the shop, and more efficiently at the track."
What's your plan to keep Ryan as a championship contender until the end of the season?
"We are working hard with Riley and Dinan to keep our cars fast. We're working with Riley to come up with some new development parts and Dinan is working on developing some parts too. The Dinan BMW engine is a fantastic platform and is quite reliable. Right now they are having a dream season with the Dinan drivers in the top three spots in the standings. Dinan is very excited about their first time having 3 solid cars for the season, and as a result, they give all they can to the program. It's pretty impressive what Dinan can do compared to the other massive engine shops like TRD, Roush - Ford, and Porsche Motorsports. They have a very motivated crew and are really doing everything they can to bring home their first Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series championship. The crew is also working on making the car better and everyone is motivated at Starworks Motorsport to get Ryan the best car we can. We really want to keep him in contention to finish top three in the year end standings. We can't forget Mike Forest who is ranked fifth in the 2010 Rolex Series point standings so far and he has done a phenomenal job, not too far from Ryan. Our plan is to keep him in the top five until the end of the season. If all goes well there is potential to get both Mike and Ryan in the top 3."
You hired some of the best available people to build you dream team including Bill Riley. Are they running at full potential after 5 months?
"It's a bit silly to say that we are running at 110%. We are all doing the best we can with the limited resources we have. We are operating on about half the budget as some of the other top teams. Our budget is relatively low and puts us in the underdog position. This is a bit of a rallying tool for us. Everybody is enjoying working in this environment and really wants to show how great we can be with our resources. The crew is always making improvements on a regular basis to get to the top step of the podium. Everybody is working hard showing determination and ambition that we are all motivated to win races and compete for championship."