An interview with Bruno Junqueira Indy Racing League Teleconference Transcript THE MODERATOR: We have several guests joining us today. Starting the call with us is Firestone Indy Lights driver Pablo Donoso, and joining us in a few minutes will...
An interview with Bruno Junqueira
Indy Racing League Teleconference Transcript
THE MODERATOR: We have several guests joining us today. Starting the call with us is Firestone Indy Lights driver Pablo Donoso, and joining us in a few minutes will be Indy Car Series driver Bruno Junqueira.
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Bruno Junqueira. Bruno is in his first full season in the IndyCar Series driving for Dale Coyne Racing. He finished sixth at Watkins Glen and was running second late in the race at Mid-Ohio before pitting for fuel. Prior to this season, Bruno competed in Champ Car for six years, earning eight victories and nine poles and raced in Edmonton each of the last two seasons, finishing seventh last year.
Bruno, first of all, we talked to you on the teleconference shortly after the unification announcement right before the season started. Now that we are past the halfway part of the season on the home stretch, give us your impressions of how things have gone so far in 2008.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: Things have been good. It's been very difficult for the transition teams, because they don't have much time to prepare the cars or see the car before the first race, they are just on the road all the time, but they are getting better every race. Especially the road courses have been very competitive, something that gives us some motivation to keep going.
I think the quality of the racing has been great and it's been much better than before. The TV ratings have been better. We have 26, 28 cars every race, and so a full field. The races are more exciting, so there are good things happening.
THE MODERATOR: You had a very strong race at Mid-Ohio, running second for quite a while, especially near the end. Tell us a bit about the race and really how many yellow laps would you have needed to stay out there and stay in second?
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: I needed like three laps on the yellow, an extra three laps on the yellow; or, if the race was going to be by time and not laps, I could have finished. But, that's OK. You play a big gamble and you win some and you lose some. I was sixth, and then the first pit stop for slick tires, we lost position and went to 19th. So we gambled, and my car was good. I was able to run by myself and save fuel and keep Helio (Castroneves) and all of the other guys behind me and on a good pace. So it was good to be running in front again.
THE MODERATOR: And you qualified ninth at Mid-Ohio and 11th at Watkins Glen much how much confidence does that give you heading into Edmonton?
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: A lot. I know the track. In Edmonton, I had a good race last year, but I finished seventh because I had a problem with the pit stop.
We were very competitive last year, and I was racing with Paul Tracy all the time. So, I think it's going to be good. For sure, Watkins Glen, to qualify in the top six, and Mid-Ohio was good, and hopefully get another top 10 qualifying in Edmonton, and I hope I can get the points in this race and we can do it.
THE MODERATOR: You've raced at Edmonton twice and obviously the transition guys have been here two or even three times. Do you think this is a track that will be a place where the transition drivers have a distinct advantage over the guys who have not raced here before?
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: Maybe you're going to have a little bit of an advantage but not more so than any other place. We know the track, but I'm sure the good (IndyCar Series) teams, they already know the track, as well. And the drivers need like five laps to learn the track. Going to a new track, they need five laps to learn about the track. So the thing is about the setups, and it's a different car, so I don't think the same setups are going to work. So let's see how it goes, and I hope we do really well.
THE MODERATOR: There's five races remaining in 2008. What would you like to accomplish in those five races?
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: I hope I can get the podium. If I can get the podium, that would be great.
Q: You had a pretty strong season, do you think you can have a good podium finish?
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: Yeah, I'm feeling really good. That's our best chance because it's a track that as I said we know and most of the teams don't know, and let's see if we can get a good result. Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio we were running good both races and really had a chance to be on podium in Watkins again, but unfortunately the pit stop in the end cost me. And Mid-Ohio was the opposite; there was no yellow flag at the end and I couldn't get the podium. Both races I qualified good and ran at a good pace, and hope I can do that in Edmonton and hope I can get a great result there.
Q: How different are these cars from what you've driven the past few years?
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: From a fan point of view, it is the same. Both cars are open-wheel race cars, and they look almost the same.
To drive, is similar, but those IndyCars, they have less power, a little bit less power. So they go a little bit slower. But in terms of, you use the same Firestone tires, and aerodynamic of the cars are very, very similar. So it's just a little bit less power. It will run like two, three seconds slower around the lap, so people from outside cannot feel the difference.
The good thing about this is because you have a little bit less power, we spend a little bit more time on the straights and there is actually more chances to overtake. So the races are going to be more exciting, especially having 27 cars on the racetrack.
Q: Wondering if you felt momentum going into Edmonton just from running up front in mid Ohio or if that just added pressure tour?
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: No, no pressure. I'm very used to fighting for the championship, three years in a row, and I won the championship in 2000. So I'm used to winning the races and getting the points, so I don't feel any pressure.
I think our team being such a small team, every great result that we get is a plus, and we work hard together. And I think the last few races in Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio were really good for us. So I just hope we can do even a little bit better in Edmonton.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for taking the time to join us. We appreciate that, and we do wish you success in the remaining races this year.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: Thank you very much.