IRL: Kenny Brack press conference, part II

Indy Racing League Weekly Teleconference Transcript Sept. 2, 2003 Kenny Brack Part 2 of 2 Q: Does it help you during a weekend of where everything is so intense to have that couple of hours to play before an audience, and the one big ...

Indy Racing League
Weekly Teleconference Transcript
Sept. 2, 2003

Kenny Brack

Part 2 of 2

Q: Does it help you during a weekend of where everything is so intense to have that couple of hours to play before an audience, and the one big difference is when you do well, it is not like you do well on lap four that everybody is going to stand and cheer and you can hear them? I mean, when you do well with a song, you get immediate response. Is that a good way for you to just get yourself away for a moment, to change the intensity?

K. Brack: Well, I have not thought of it quite in those terms. I would say it does not do any good or bad things for the racing. I do not think it changes my racing weekend in a positive or negative way, but perhaps -- I know we played in Nashville four or five hours before the race, and we finished fifth, which is one of the best results we have this year. So, maybe it does something for us, but I do not know. I would say that I do not think it does anything in that sense, but what it does I think for us, for the team and for the team sponsors, Pioneer in particular, that sponsors the band too, and Miller Lite and all the others, Honda and stuff, and myself, is I think we can connect with the fans in a very good way because fans come down to the pitch. You know, when I am in the car and get out of the car, and you know I am very intense and thinking about what I need from the car and stuff, and I usually have to concentrate pretty hard to relate that information to the engineers, and we hurry back to the transporter all the time and then we sit in this little engineering room and discuss about that. Fans, although they are there, they really do not get to see the relaxed side of any drivers, really, because we are always busy even when we are out of the car. This thing with the music, I think, I can show the fans a different side to stuff and maybe have a little time, even, to sign some autographs and be normal to people instead of just running around like being, just going from one place to another without even noticing anybody around me.

Q: Yes, and it is good to hear the applause after the song isn't it?

K. Brack: Oh, yes, of course. I mean, you know this band is really, like I talked a little earlier here, we have Kathy and Laz, they are really good, but you know, we have four really, well, professionals with us in Gene, Charlie and Dave, Smoking Dave and Kelsey, and they hold the band together. So, with relatively little rehearsal, we manage to sound real good. I must say the CD we recorded, it is a live record. We have not changed nearly anything on it, we just mixed it and put the levels right, and the way it came out I am really pleased and proud of the final product, which is greatly down to these people, because it is very easy for a band to go into the mixing, well, studio, after a live recording and take everything away except the drums and put new tracks on there. But we did not do that. This is a live thing and we have changed very little after we recorded, and like I say, it is a great band.

Q: How is everything over in Sweden?

K. Brack: You know, it is really beautiful here. It is a little chilly, it is going towards fall, but the trees are still green and during the daytime probably 70 to 75 and now it is going down to like 50 or 60 here. It is like 6:30 in the evening. I am standing here, outside of my house here, we have a great big park in the middle of town and it is pretty nice.

Q: We had a downpour over the weekend, it flooded everything.

K. Brack: I heard you got some rain there.

Q: Yes, a whole lot. Anyway, I am looking at the standings. Except for Sam Hornish, who has driven in the league four straight years and won the Championship, so he would be an exception, every team ahead of you has a dual, you know double drivers. Is that the thing that is pretty well coming, if you want to win a championship you have to have two drivers to lean on each other's work?

K. Brack: I don't want to think like that, because since we are a one-car team we still have high expectations. But, I think that, you know, I think that having a two-car team or a three-car team is a lot, there is a lot of benefits to that, especially in terms of testing and also when you go testing to have two cars out there and get two responses, and you can sort of get through the changes and the engineering ideas you have a lot faster. But, I think that for us, it has been a very challenging year because we came into this all new, and I think that that is the big thing for us, it takes time to collect data and to look at data and to find what is working with the car and what is not working. Basically, in the league it is so competitive that you have to get to the racetrack and start in the right ballpark with the car, and if you do not, well, then you may use the first day trying to find your way and maybe you get it right the second time. But, then you are a day behind and so all the fine-tuning that you need to get the last tenth or two out of the car, you do not have that time and then you are behind, and that has been a big challenge for us. It is a great team, Team Rahal, and we are learning fast and it is, you know, I am sure that we will finish the season really strong.

Q: Right. Well, who among the drivers that you are seeing for the first time this year have been the most surprising to you, the one you kind of respect the most?

K. Brack: You know, I do not see any surprises, really. I know most of the teams and most of the drivers, and, you know, you look at what they have accomplished in the past, and I would say that there are not a lot of surprises out there, I do not think. I think that before the season, I could sit down and look at the starting field and say any fifteen guys here could probably win the title with the right amount of flow through the season and all of that. So, there are a lot of team situations who have everything they need to win and the credentials backing up champions, you know? So, I cannot really put anyone out of there that has been a surprise.

Q: Gil de Ferran announced his retirement, you know, last week and he is two years younger than you. What are your thoughts about Gil?

K. Brack: Well, he is a guy that I have been racing, for some reason, since the beginning of the 90's. There was a series called Opal Lotus here in Europe, a European Championship, and I think that every driver that you, well not every driver, but most of the drivers you read about in Formula 1 or Indy cars or whatever, used to compete in that series back then. David Coulthard and Pedro Lamy and Gil and a whole lot of other drivers, and, I guess, we have sort of followed each other's footsteps well from back then. Gil has always been a great competitor and, you know, done a lot of excellent results, obviously, and it is, you know he said he wanted to quit while the music was still playing. But, I mean we just put together the band, so we are going to be playing for a while.

Q: Will you miss him?

K. Brack: Pardon? Yes. You know he is a great competitor, but if he feels that, for whatever reason, he feels that is it, if he cannot find the motivation anymore or whatever, I do not know. But, I wish him all the best and it is sad to see him go. So personally, I think it is too early, but, you know, that is obviously, those decisions nobody can tell you what to do, it is just you have to make them yourself.

Q: Obviously you have not lost your motivation then.

K. Brack: No, I am still striving to try to win more races and being as professional as I can when I prepare myself, and I have a great team to race for and great partners in Honda and Pioneer and Miller Lite and, obviously, the team, Team Rahal, and all of the mechanics and the engineers there. I mean, we have a good group and I am all fired up about winning.

@#Q: I would like to talk to you about the package that you have and also about working with Don Halliday once again, because I know just the two of you got along extremely well, particularly in the 2001. Do you think that Honda has made improvements over the year, and do you think that their drivability is getting better?

K. Brack: Well, I know that Honda has made a lot of improvements over the year. I am quite impressed with the short time they had to make this engine. I think they surprised a lot of people in the beginning of the year, being as competitive as they have been, and I feel we have had a very good support from Honda and, technically, they are a very skilled company and, historically, if you look at what they have done in the past I think you will see that they have done nothing without being successful. So, for me, I had no doubts when I was asked to drive for them this year that it would be a really strong engine, and you know their partners, Illmor and all that stuff, they have all been very successful in the past and Illmor, as you probably know, builds the Mercedes, the race engine in Formula 1, and so there is a lot of skills and a lot of knowledge within that company.

Q: And what about working with Don again, is it as comfortable as it was back then?

K. Brack: Oh yes. I mean, I think Don and I get along well, but it is not the two-person show. This is a team effort, and I think that the team that we have with, well, obviously, owned by Bobby Rahal and led by Scott Roembke and the team manager, Steve Dickson, and the race engineers, it is not only Don, it is Ken Pare, sorry, Martin Pare and Tim Reiter, and all of the guys there. They are really skillful, and Don and I get along well and he is my race engineer, and we have also a group of really educated mechanics led by Ricardo Nault. So, the whole team, I am very pleased with the personnel and all of that stuff.

Q: Great, great, I wish you good luck and a safe flight back.

K. Brack: Thank you very much.

K. Johnson: Well Kenny at this time we do not have anymore questions for you. Again, we appreciate you joining us today and we wish you the best of luck this weekend in Chicago.

K. Brack: I appreciate it, thanks so much.

Part I

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Series IndyCar
Drivers David Coulthard , Gil de Ferran , Bobby Rahal , Kenny Brack , Pedro Lamy , Sam Hornis