CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: This Week in Ford Racing

This Week in Ford Racing June 15, 2004 Champ Car World Series Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the No. 4 Herdez Competition Lola, had a dominant car last weekend at the Milwaukee Mile, scoring his second career Champ Car victory. By winning...

This Week in Ford Racing
June 15, 2004

Champ Car World Series

Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the No. 4 Herdez Competition Lola, had a dominant car last weekend at the Milwaukee Mile, scoring his second career Champ Car victory. By winning the race, he moved from eighth to third in points and closed the gap in the points standings to first-place Bruno Junqueira to 10 points. This weekend the Champ Car series makes its trip to Portland International Raceway for the fourth race of the season.

RYAN HUNTER-REAY -- No.4 Herdez Competition Ford Cosworth

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR Momentum going into Portland? "Last year with the American Spirit Team I was on the provisional outside pole on Saturday but we had a clutch failure on race day. But, coming out of Milwaukee it just proved to the team that they can get the job done when we work smart and get everything together. That's the best part about that win is going into the next round. The team did a great job with pit stops as well, In Monterrey we were first in pit stop times, in Milwaukee we were third or fourth quick. It's something that's for sure going to catapult us into this weekend."

In Milwaukee, at what point did youR TEAM know you had a good car? "We were never lower than second on the time sheets in practice and qualifying. Right when we rolled off we were quick. We tested there three weeks before we raced. When we rolled the car off the truck it was immediately on the pace from what it was when we tested there. It was amazing. Rolled it right off and it handled great. I did not want to change it too much right from the first run out. That's what set everything in motion and lead to the type of weekend that we had."

What's the biggest thing you have learned transferring from one team to another? "It's just unbelieveable the difference when you have the right equipment. The better equipment is the big thing for me. Last year we ran a three-year-old Reynard. Now, this year I'm in a Lola. It's just better all around. The teams a bit more experienced and they have been together longer. A team makes so much of a difference in racing when you're looking at tenths of a second. I made a step up in my team this year which is huge for me."

How is the teams testing program this year? "We have one more day allocated to us, but we may not take it. We have had some great tests at Road America, Portland, Milwaukee, Sebring. We may go to Laguna, but that's doubtful. We've had a full testing program where as last year we had no testing. It's a big change for me to get the chance to develop the car, work with the Lolas and develop the team. It's been great, we've been testing, we are prepared to race. There is no reason why we shouldn't be finishing the way we did in Milwaukee."

What do you think of the new push TO pass button? "I think it's an excellent idea and Cosworth has done a great job. First of all the motors are bulletproof. They are so reliable and everybody is extremely equal. I'm totally surprised they came into it in the first season. At first I had my doubts how equal each motor was going to be. It's unbelievable how equal they are. Now that we have the push to pass it's a genius idea and its something we needed. We race on these street circuits and road courses where everybody's so equal that you're just waiting for a mistake. Now you can go ahead and make a pass when everything is right. It makes a better show that way. It throws in another area of strategy. Maybe you want to save it till the end, use it in the beginning. It throws another wrench into the whole thing and it's a great idea. I would actually like another 50 horsepower, but I love it the way it is."

-ford racing-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Ryan Hunter-Reay