Indy Infiniti Pro Series March 25, 2003 Jonathan Urlin Part 1 of 2 Operator: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Indy Racing League Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will...
Indy Infiniti Pro Series
March 25, 2003
Part 1 of 2
Operator: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Indy Racing League Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question and answer session. I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Kent Johnson. Mr. Johnson, you may begin.
K. Johnson: Thank you again, Mary, and we certainly welcome everyone to the Indy Racing Teleconference for this week, Tuesday, March 25th. Today we will take a look back at this past weekend's events at Phoenix International Raceway, those being the Phoenix 100 for the Infiniti Pro Series as well as the Purex Dial Indy 200 for the IndyCarÔ Series. Joining us today will be Infiniti Pro Series driver Jonathan Urlin, the driver of the #33 Budget Rent A Car Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone for Brian Stewart Racing. He is a rookie to the Infiniti Pro Series and is a 20-year-old native of London, Ontario, who currently attends the University of Western Ontario. Through two races in the 2003 season, Jonathan currently lies fourth in the series point standings, having placed fifth in the season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway and this past weekend at the Phoenix 100 at Phoenix International Raceway he started 13th, made his way through the field and finished in seventh. Jonathan, welcome and thanks for joining us today.
J. Urlin: Thanks a lot for having me on.
Johnson: For starters, you come to the Infiniti Pro Series having spent a little over three seasons in Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship series where you placed third overall last season. Tell us how that series helped prepare you for stepping into a Pro Series car?
Urlin: Formula Ford 2000 series, the past three years definitely was a learning experience for me. The first two years it was just a father/son private team that we had done, and we did not really get the good results that we needed. Although our oval results had always been better, even back at that point. Last year we hired on an engineer to help us out with our father/son team and just kind of gave us the computer data and experience that we needed to move up to the front, finished third in the overall championship last year and second in the Oval Crown Championship. We did not get the opportunity to run on any super-speedways with the Formula 2000 cars, those cars are really safe enough for that type of speed, but we did get the opportunity to run the tracks like Milwaukee and IRP. And that definitely, I think, gave me a little bit of an advantage coming into this series where we are running on ovals obviously all the time, as opposed to Mark Taylor and Thiago (Medeiros) and these guys who are kind of having to learn the ovals right off the start. I kind of feel privileged that we had the opportunity to do ovals the past three years and we ended up getting some good results.
Johnson: Now this season you are driving for Brian Stewart Racing, which has a pretty solid history of developing outstanding drivers such as current Formula One driver Cristiano de Mata, IndyCar series winner Jaques Lazier, 2000 IndyCar series Rookie of the year Airton Dare and Paul Tracy. From your perspective, tell us what this team brings to the table that nets such strong results.
Urlin: Well, obviously, many, many, many years of experience and strong results is all wrapped within Brian Stewart Racing, and these are some of the best guys I think that are out there these days, and we can see obviously of that list of drivers that have gone on to do wonderful things after leaving Brian Stewart, so I think Brian hopefully sees something in these drivers and does the best he can to bring them up and give them as much as his knowledge and experience that he can possibly do. And I just feel privileged to be on the list of alumni of Brian Stewart's that you have just gone over. I feel privileged just to be a part of that and hope that I can learn everything that I possibly can, and that is what I am trying to do, is take away as much knowledge as I can from Brian Stewart and the rest of these guys that are working around me.
Johnson: Now at this time I would like to go ahead and open to the media for anyone with questions. Just a reminder, please limit your question to one initial and then we will come back for a follow-up. Also, we do a complete transcript of the call and that will be sent to you via your email or fax. Now let's open the forum for questions.
Q: You have only had two races in this series, but some people have already compared you to Paul Tracy because of your aggressive style. Would you categorize your style as aggressive and how do you feel about being compared to Paul Tracy this early in your career?
Urlin: That is wonderful to have that kind of comparison. I am not sure who said that or anything, but I definitely take that in a good way. Paul Tracy is obviously going to do wonderful things, and we all know he has a little bit of an aggressive style. I do not know necessarily, in my own eyes, if my style is one of aggression. It is more like kind of controlled aggression, if you will. I think there are certain times when you kind of have to go out and be aggressive and if you can wait for that opportunity and then strike when you need to. I think that is a better way to have the aggression. Paul Tracy is obviously the same way. It is pretty controlled. I like to think of my style as a bit more progressive and just kind of easy going, and I just kind of like to wait for the opportunity to happen and then go ahead and strike and be aggressive when that time comes. Our goal this year is to finish every lap of the year, so hopefully we can kind of keep the aggressive style in control and go on to complete that goal.
Q: A year or two ago did you ever think you would be sharing a teleconference with Michael Andretti and Tony Kanaan?
Urlin: Definitely not. That is a pretty cool feeling too, just being in this whole IRL organization, you are kind of put in a hat with all these, the best drivers in the world and just to be part of that as well as being a part of the list of alumni of Brian Stewart Racing, this is all wonderful. We have come this far so far, and we have a long ways to go, and hopefully we can just kind of do this progressively and work our way up.
Q: Yes Jonathan, I noticed that you were studying philosophy. How does that age you as a racing driver? And also, what are your ultimate goals as a driver?
Urlin: Ultimate goals right now as a driver are obviously moving up to the IndyCar Series. That is a first and foremost priority after we complete this year and maybe the next year of getting all our learning done and our experience done and as soon as we feel that we do have the knowledge and experience to move up to an Indy car, and the opportunity is there; we are obviously going to take that. As for my philosophy studies, I do not really have a general philosophy on racing yet. I just want to try to keep relaxed and consistent, and I think that it is perseverance that ends up winning championships, and that is what we are going to try and go for. As for the actual schoolwork, it is a toss-up between racing and schoolwork. There is a lot of work to get done when I get home after the race weekend, but obviously my mind is with racing, and that is the number-one priority in my life right now.