CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee: Champ Car press conference, part II

Champ Car World Series Media Teleconference Transcript with: Adrian Fernandez, Jerome Fynaardt, Terry Haskel and Emerson Fittipaldi Part 2 of 3 Q: Jerome, you made the comparison to Super Bowl level. What do you mean by that in terms of the...

Champ Car World Series Media Teleconference Transcript with:
Adrian Fernandez, Jerome Fynaardt, Terry Haskel and Emerson Fittipaldi

Part 2 of 3

Q: Jerome, you made the comparison to Super Bowl level. What do you mean by that in terms of the amount of lighting, the amount of time and preparation, the expenditure? What do you mean by that? And were you guys involved with Ground Zero lighting; is that correct?

JEROME FYNAARDT: Correct. As far as the comparison to Super Bowl and some of the other projects, it's basically the equipment-wise, as far as needs and stuff. As far as like at Ground Zero, we had five of these units lighting up the Ground Zero in New York. We've got 14 of them up here at the Milwaukee one. So when it is comparing equipment needs rather than actual lighting needs, so to speak - obviously Super Bowls, when you get into the NFL and stuff like that and the Major League light level and things like that are very highly needed for cameras, for slow-mo's and stuff like that.

Q: And you said you have five of the 6,000-watt units?

JEROME FYNAARDT: We have 15 Musco lights, and they have 15 6,000-watt lamps on each unit, so there's 90,000 watts per unit.

ADAM SAAL: Can you give us a comparison? Those are impressive numbers, but as far as the lighting capability for something that has 90,000 watts of power, exactly how much of a punch are we talking here?

JEROME FYNAARDT: I know that when we did some of the comparison back and forth with the trucks that are actually going to be there with all 14 of them, it would be the equivalent of 250,000 car headlights or nearly 284,000 household lamps.

ADAM SAAL: How far can these units project their light? Obviously you'll have them focused on the racing and pit areas, but when you turn them on and let them shine straight out, how far can you see?

JEROME FYNAARDT: You can see them up to a couple miles away easily.

ADAM SAAL: So these are going to get the job done.

JEROME FYNAARDT: These are going to get the job done.

Q: Is there any difference -- you said you worked at Bristol with lighting in terms of working with stock cars versus the CART Champ Cars, in terms of what they needed technology-wise and how much lighting, etc.?

JEROME FYNAARDT: Now, as far as comparing between Bristol and Milwaukee, we pretty much went under the same technical needs of what we thought both the drivers and television and spectators would need. Obviously through the years, we have led a number of tracks on the permanent basis at Daytona, Charlotte and Atlanta. Through the years, we have learned more and more on the permanent side and we have just adapted some of those engineering things that we have learned over the years to the temporary side for the racetrack.

ADAM SAAL: One of the questions I have for you, and maybe Terry this would be better for you, the first time you use your permanent lighting structures, the cooperation between the drivers and the Musco lighters, it was kind of unexpected. Can you share that story with us?

TERRY HASKEL: This was a NASCAR race that was held in Atlanta and we had partially finished the track for a day-event and had not actually fine-tuned or final-aimed any of light fixtures themselves, and we had a tremendous rain delay in Atlanta that year. I'm trying to recall the year exactly. It had to be four years ago or so, five years ago. The first race we did there. It got to the point where they had to decide whether to go ahead with the race or call us. They held a drivers meeting and the drivers said: "We've driven in Musco's work before, so we think it's going to be okay. Let's run the race." And, in fact, that's what happened.

ADAM SAAL: So definitely trial by fire there, and it worked out well. It's a good testament to how ready you guys are for your jobs and it's going to be outstanding.

We do have Emerson Fittipaldi joining us right now. Welcome Emmerson.

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: How are you doing? I'm just ready to go to Milwaukee.

ADAM SAAL: Adrian Fernandez is here joining you here today. And we have two of our friends from Musco Lighting, Jerome Fynaardt and Terry Haskel, and they are talking about how we are going to get the facility ready to go.

Before we get on with the conversation more extensively with our lighting and the Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 Presented by Miller Lite, share with us the sponsorship announcement that you and your team made earlier today and talk about how you feel about it.

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Well, I'm very, very happy that we got a deal with Carrera. It is one of the most traditional sunglasses manufacturers and names in the sunglasses industry. It is a prestigious name. I am very happy that Fittipaldi will be sponsored by Carrera now. I think the type of public, the spectators that enjoy CART is what Carrera wants and what Carrera needs, and I think we can do a great job with Carrera and it's going to be a great synergy between our team, Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing, Carrera and CART. I'm very, very pleased to announce that.

ADAM SAAL: In the press release that was distributed, they do supply goggles for other sports competition, motorcycle racing and so forth. Any plan to get a little scientific or technological with the motor sports application?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Well, Carrera is very much involved in downhill skiing, snowboarding, and I'm sure they will look in the future to get technical in motor sports when needed. I'm sure motorcycle definitely will get involved. I think our No. 1 thing is the spectator we reach, not just in America, but international. They have to join us and I'm sure we are going to have a great effort together to deliver what Carrera expects from us, from our racing from our team and from our series.

ADAM SAAL: Congratulations, Emerson. The announcement is that Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing joins Carrera Sport USA to sign a sponsorship agreement for the team.

And the car is driven by Tiago Monteiro from Portugal, and looking forward to him having a change of luck. He has had some struggles in the first few races. Even in Monterrey he came to a halt before the race even got started. Any advice for your rookie driver?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: First, I would like to say that this deal was orchestrated and done by Graphite Marketing, who I've know for many, many years and are very well known in marketing. I would like to thank them for the great job they did in putting the deal together.

As you mentioned, we are going to, we are hoping that the surface will be smoother and we can run our chassis low to the ground and get maximum downforce from the chassis and be able to be competitive. We had a very positive experience in Germany. Tiago was aggressive, first time he was driving in an oval. With the limitations of the Reynard chassis, he did an outstanding race in Germany. I was very, very pleased. In Milwaukee, he'll be able to drive aggressive on the short mile. On a one-mile oval, you have to be extremely aggressive driver. I always say, it's one of the most tense type of driving because just you are cornering most of the time in a very aggressive way because you still can be aggressive, the car on the track and you still have a very good chance - it's not like a high-speed oval that's not forgiving. I think he can do a good job in Milwaukee.

ADAM SAAL: It was a good job in Germany. He did very well. Talk about his experience on ovals in general. Was this year the first time he's ever been on an oval track?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: First time he's been on an oval track. We experienced Las Vegas Speedway just three weeks before going to Germany. He did a very good test in Las Vegas. He went very fast and he enjoyed the ovals, because I always say to the driver, love it or hate oval tracks. It cannot be both. Tiago loves to drive on the oval. I'm sure it will be a new experience and I hope we can give him a good car.

ADAM SAAL: Are these lights going to be so bright they are going to need to wear shades? Are we going to see these new Carreras at nine o'clock at night?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: I have myself a yellow, Carrera that you can - it will clear your vision at night; that I am taking special at Milwaukee to test.

Part III

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Tiago Monteiro , Emerson Fittipaldi