CHAMPCAR/CART: Mid-Ohio Ford Racing Bryan Herta, Max Papis Qualifying Notes

[Received Mon 16 Aug 1999] BRYAN HERTA -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 2nd - WITH THE RAIN HERE TODAY YOU GUYS WERE OBVIOUSLY NOT GOING TO IMPROVE YOUR TIME. WAS THERE EVER ANY THOUGHT OF JUST GOING OUT THERE AND TRYING SOME THINGS OUT? ...

[Received Mon 16 Aug 1999]

BRYAN HERTA -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 2nd - WITH THE RAIN HERE TODAY YOU GUYS WERE OBVIOUSLY NOT GOING TO IMPROVE YOUR TIME. WAS THERE EVER ANY THOUGHT OF JUST GOING OUT THERE AND TRYING SOME THINGS OUT? "Well in looking at the weather it does not look like it is going to rain tomorrow. Even if it does we have tested enough here that we feel like we know what to do if the situation comes up." YOU ARE STARTING IN A SIMILAR SITUATION AS LAST YEAR -- UP FRONT. HOWEVER, LAST YEAR YOU AND DARIO DIDN'T MAKE IT ONE LAP. DO YOU PLAN ON DOING ANYTHING DIFFERENT OF THE SITUATION COMES UP AGAIN? "No. I'll just try and make it through the first corner and see what happens after that. There were two guys involved in that accident and the other one could have made it work too. If you start to let up a little bit out there the other guys will eat you up." IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYONE IS HAVING A LITTLE HARDER TIME GETTING AROUND THE TRACK THIS YEAR. . . "It has been for me. It's been a bit of a struggle but the car is working real well for me. I made a few mistakes on my fast lap. I don't know if we would have had a car (capable of catching) Dario but I do feel like we have a good car for the race." ONE TOPIC THAT HAS COME UP HERE IS YOUR FUTURE WITH TEAM RAHAL. WHERE DOES THAT STAND? "Well all I can say right now is that I will be back in a Champ Car next year. I have been talking with a few other teams but we will see what will happen."

MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 9th - I KNOW YOU WERE ONE OF THE GUYS THAT WANTED ANOTHER SHOT AT THE POLE TODAY AFTER A BIT OF A DISAPPOINTMENT YESTERDAY IN QUALIFYING . . . "We had a few ideas on what would help improve the car for today but we were not able to run it. But we have been testing a lot and have a good knowledge about that should work. We just need to try and get a good interpretation of how the track is going to be tomorrow."

JAN MAGNUSSEN -20- Visteon Ford-Cosworth - YOU ARE STILL TRYING TO LEARN THE NEW REYNARD. HOW MUCH DOES NOT RUNNING TODAY SET YOU BEHIND? "A little bit. We are running Adrian's setup right now and are just trying to make it more to my liking. We made some improvements yesterday. The changes we had on the car for today were not major changes, but just a few to suit me driving style. We should be okay tomorrow."

HERTA AND PAPIS -- CART'S TOP GUNS Team Rahal drivers take flight in Ohio Air National Guard F-16s BRYAN HERTA -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth -- YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO TAKE A FLIGHT IN A U.S. AIR FORCE F-16 FALCON ON THURSDAY. WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE WAS THAT? "Unbelievable. I can't thank the folks at the Air National Guard enough for that opportunity. That's something that most people never get the opportunity to experience in their lifetime." HOW MANY G'S DID YOU PULL? "About seven g's. But I tell you it is a totally different feeling. Our g-loading is all lateral and in the F-16 it was all vertical - it was going straight down through you. It's a more intense and a more sustained g-loading than we pull. In a Champ Car you are not holding heavy g's for any length of time where in the F-16 you can hold it for as long as you can do it. It's an entirely different experience." YOU WERE SUITED UP IN THE G-SUITS AND THE WHOLE NINE YARDS WEREN'T YOU? "You had to be. I don't think it is physically possible to pull those kind of g's without it. The whole thing was so professional. They put me through a couple of hours of training on how to get in and out of the plane, how to eject, although I didn't parachute I had to learn how to parachute. They hung me from the ceiling and taught me how to pull the handles and things. They also put me through survival training. In a couple of hours they put you through a lot. It's a really good experience. I struggle for words to describe what it was like because it is such a different experience." MOST PEOPLE CAN PROBABLY RELATE TO TAKING OFF IN A COMMERCIAL JET LINER. HOW DOES THE ACCELERATION COMPARE FROM AN F-16 TO SAY A 747? "It's like comparing a moped to a Champ Car. You can't even imagine. When that afterburner kicks it is something else to experience. Just the performance of the jet is incredible, it's so nimble, yet, it's not a small plane. When you are in the jet you realize that is it quite a big aircraft." WHERE DID YOUR TRIP TAKE YOU? "We flew up over Michigan. We saw Michigan Speedway, up over Saginaw then up to Mackinac Island then over to lake Huron. We did a lot of maneuvers - flips, rolls, it was a lot of fun. On our way back we flew down over Detroit and we saw Bell Isle on our way back into Toledo. It was a great trip. I can't thank the guys enough. My pilot was Mike Timbrooke, his call sign was "Weasel." DID YOU GET A CALL SIGN FOR THE DAY? "No they didn't give me one. I have met him at a few races this year. I know that if he wanted to at any moment he could have made me sick. He gave me a great ride and really showed off the performance of the plane without making me sick. He knew that if he made me sick it would not have been fun for me anymore. He gave me a great ride." MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - I HEARD YOU AND BRYAN HAD THE CHANCE TO TAKE A FLIGHT IN AN F-16 EARLIER THIS WEEK. WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? "It was a life experience. It's a dream. It is something that I feel very special about because I am an Italian and was able to fly in a U.S. military plane. There are things you always dream of doing ever since you were a kid and that was one of mine. For some people that dream is driving race cars and I have already done that and now I can say I got the chance to fly in a jet fighter." HOW FAST DID YOU GUYS GO? "We went about 680 knots. Almost the speed of sound." DID YOU HAVE THE CHANCE TO FLY THAT PLANE? "I did, I flew upside down, flips, rolls, straight up and I pulled 5.6 g's when I was flying and when the pilot was flying we pulled 7.8 g's." WHAT WAS THAT EXPERIENCE LIKE? "You really feel the forces on your back. I think the next step up from a race car is a military jet."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis , Bryan Herta