Tim Reiter, race engineer for the Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth of Max Papis, is hoping the additional time between qualifying and the race at Nazareth granted by Mother Nature has allowed the team to gain more insight into what a car needs to go...
Tim Reiter, race engineer for the Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth of Max Papis, is hoping the additional time between qualifying and the race at Nazareth granted by Mother Nature has allowed the team to gain more insight into what a car needs to go even quicker at the .946-mile oval.
The team used the races' extended hiatus between qualifying and race day to test at the one-mile oval in Milwaukee to gain valuable information about the car's setup. Reiter, whose driver Max Papis will roll away from the 16th starting position, is confident that they will be fast and that the teams qualifying position isn't indicative of the car's potential.
More so, this unique race weekend schedule, that sees the Champ Car teams get an hour of pre-race practice and a drop of the green flag roughly three hours later, is something that Reiter believes the series should do more of.
Tim Reiter, Race Engineer (Papis), Team Rahal -- SINCE THE INFAMOUS NAZARETH SNOW-OUT BACK ON APRIL 9, A MONTH AND A HALF HAS PASSED. THE TRACK WILL BE VERY GREEN TRACK AND WEATHER CONDITIONS WILL BE MUCH DIFFERENT THAT THOSE BACK IN THE BEGINNING OF APRIL. HOW DO YOU APPROACH THIS VERY UNIQUE SITUATION SURROUNDING THIS WEEKEND'S MAKE-UP RACE IN NAZARETH? "It kind of throws you a curve ball really, with the track being so green. The grip level is different. You really kind of go on blind faith that the car is going to come around the same way it would have on the original race weekend. We are basically going back with the cars in the configuration we ended the weekend with and we felt they were the most competitive at the time. We have an hour practice to sort it out before we go race. All the tires we had there we are going to get back and we have to figure out how that is going to affect the car as well. We will get one new set of tires and hopefully that will allow us to get a pretty good read on whether our used tires are substantially different. What we have found is the longer a set of tires sit, the stranger they become. So we have that in the back of our mind. But as far as the setup of the car, we kind of have to go on blind faith that it's going to come around like it was back in April."
WITH MAX QUALIFYING 16TH, DOES THIS LAYOFF HELP YOU OR HURT YOU? "It helps us a little bit. It gives us some time to sit and think a bit. Our car was not too bad during the weekend. It was pretty windy during qualifying and I think Max just caught a gust of wind and it broke his concentration. We felt like we were pretty competitive. We had done some full tank runs the last time we were there so we are pretty comfortable with the car. It really does give you the opportunity to sit and reevaluate where we are headed. We had the chance to test in Milwaukee and we found a few things we can throw at the car Saturday morning and hopefully it will help."
ARE THERE ANY CONCERNS ABOUT THE TIRES IN REGARDS TO THEM SITTING FOR A MONTH AND A HALF AND THE CHANGE IN WEATHER CONDITIONS? "I am not sure. The night before the race, Firestone had told us all to put our tires in the semi to keep them from getting below freezing because they were concerned that the temperatures could affect them. But after we gave them back to Firestone, I am not sure what happened to them after that. The other thing is, I hope the tires are in good condition and all the pickup (that accumulates on the tires from the track and pit road) was removed by our guys before they were stored."
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS ONE-DAY SHOW? DO YOU LIKE THE IDEA OF SHOWING UP ON SATURDAY MORNING, PRACTICING FOR AN HOUR, AND RACING THAT SAME DAY? "I think it's great. I would prefer to do that every weekend. You know, it's the same for everybody. That's the way I look at it. Let's just go. Let's practice for an hour and race. Everybody keeps talking about spending money. I don't know how the drivers feel about that, but from my perspective, let's go. You would save a lot of money. It's still going to be a race; somebody's still going to win. Nothing's going to change from a spectators point-of-view and that what it's all about."