Robby Gordon, driver of the No. 55 Camping World Ford Fusion had the second fastest time in today's second practice at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 59 Kingsford Charcoal/Match Light Ford Fusion posted the third ...
Robby Gordon, driver of the No. 55 Camping World Ford Fusion had the second fastest time in today's second practice at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 59 Kingsford Charcoal/Match Light Ford Fusion posted the third fastest time in the second practice. Both drivers participated in the afternoon press conference.
ROBBY GORDON, No. 55 Camping World Ford Fusion
YOU WERE SECOND FAST OUT THERE IN THE SECOND SESSION, 94.325 SECONDS, TALK ABOUT YOUR SESSIONS OUT THERE TODAY AND YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE UPCOMING EVENT.
"Well, for me it's pretty good. We're happy with that. Obviously Ron (Fellows) was a bit quicker, but the last run there we were in full race trim. We ran 5 laps and I think two were in the 44s and three were in the 43-second brackets and that was in full-blown race trim. I'm sure if we would have attempted to make a qualifying run we would have been better than that by probably a second, so I don't know if they (Fellows) made one or didn't make one, I'm not too worried about it to be honest with you. For me, I'm going to run here today. I'm not going to be at the race track tomorrow. I'm going to go to Pocono and I'll be back on Saturday and spend all day Saturday here. I've raced with Ron forever. We raced in Trans-Am a couple of times together, GTO stuff, obviously Busch and NASCAR. I know his ability and he'll keep us honest this weekend.
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 59 Kingsford Charcoal/Match Light Ford Fusion
CAME IN THIRD 94.306. TAKE US THROUGH THIS SESSION AS WELL AS IMPROVEMENT OR CHANGES FROM THE FIRST SESSION TODAY.
"Well, I guess it's all about the brakes. You've just got to keep the brakes underneath you. It's a great track. It's real exciting with the walls nice and close. It gets your attention pretty much every stop. The car is not stopping that well and the brakes are fading. You keep thinking that you'll turn it into this corner and make it stick, then there is a concrete wall looking at you. It's really tricky out there today. The track is slick but in good condition. I'm really excited we had a terrible package at Mexico and we got a brand new car. The first time we hit the race track was this morning. We're really happy with it and excited for tomorrow. I've got to think that I squealed like a stuffed pig after Mexico trying to get them to build a car straight for me. They did that and now I'm comfortable behind the wheel and I'm ready to push it."
DID YOU GET ENOUGH PRACTICE TODAY?
ROBBY GORDON: "Yea, I got enough practice. My plan for the weekend is, today, obviously here. Tomorrow, spend the whole day in Pocono and qualify the car. Tomorrow night, I'll come back and Saturday spend the whole day here so I will qualify, attend the drivers meeting and start the race wherever we qualify. To be honest with you, the pole would be great but anywhere inside the top-10, we'll be happy with. Then for Sunday, head back to Pocono and hit the drivers meeting there. Wherever I qualify tomorrow, I'll start in that respective position on Sunday. P.J. (Jones) is doing a lot of testing. Our COT program has really taken presence over our Car of Yesterday program and we've been testing every week. Last three times we ran that car, we only got one top-10 finish, but we ran inside the top-10 the whole time at Loudon and obviously in Sonoma we led that race for a while. I think we've got a good handle on that and P.J. has been testing for us and I'm comfortable with him driving my car at Pocono."
WHAT'S THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS TRACK AND OTHER ROAD RACES?
MARCOS AMBROSE: "We've raced on street circuits before. We can call this a road course if you want, but this is the closest to a street circuit that I believe NASCAR has ever raced on. In Mexico City, the walls are farther back and you have more vision. I'm going to say, turn six, the blind right-hander it reminds me of some places like Long Beach, Toronto, Vancouver, back when we used to run Trans-Am and Indy cars in those place where you're definitely reliant on the flag man because you can't see around the corner because your busting around there 70, 80, 90, 100 miles an hour, whatever it may be. This is more like a street circuit and I love street circuits. You have to be smooth and I think all the road racing in the past and the off road racing really teaches you to control your rear tires and I think that's going to come into play. Since obviously we don't have traction control, it's the guy that can control the throttle, power down the best and save his tires for the end of the race is the one that's going to be the fastest at the end."
ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT THE ROAD RACERS HAVE SEVEN OF THE TOP-10 TIMES?
ROBBY GORDON: "I did a race run there at the end because I'm not going to be able to do fuel mileage tomorrow. So, we did five laps, it doesn't seem like a lot but five straight laps is quite a lot around the race track. Every lap was 1:44.30 and under. I think there was one 1:43 in there but we're pretty comfortable with our car going into the race. The biggest thing is going to be saving the breaks and have a car left at the end to race. Today in the open test session, there was a lot of carnage. Some of the cars that where out there were smoking because the back end was knocked over and they were still going fast. But there was a lot of carnage for an open practice session."
MARCOS AMBROSE: "It's going to be really tough here to pull a string of laps together; it's going to be about conserving the brakes, there's no doubt about that. The cars stop fantastic, they really do, for the amount of weight they have in the car. They just don't stop that good for very long. It will take a lap or two before they really start to get hot, so it's going to be about managing brakes and keeping it smooth. The track does drive like a street track and you've got to keep the fenders underneath you and the tires in good condition. It's going to be a race of mistakes, I think. People are going to make errors, slip up and give you an opportunity to pass them. That's the way I see it."
ROBBY GORDON: "Our brakes are, I just don't want the media to say 'your brakes aren't good enough for your race track,' they are. As race car drivers, we're always going to complain, it's the way you make the car better, complain, work on it and make it better. But, for us, it's going to be managing those breaks. For us, it's going to be the guy who uses his brakes the best at the end of the day will either win the race or runs up front. We can go; I'm going to use the last chicane coming into the last straightaway; you can go to the bridge, but you're not going to the bridge for 74 laps. If you try 74 laps to the bridge, you're going to be out of brakes by lap 15. It's the guys that manage their brakes well enough. The brake manufacture, NASCAR and everybody, they allow us to have adequate cooling but they're 3400 pound cars. That's part of the excitement of road racing. It comes down to the guys that position and save their equipment to be fast at the end."
FORMULA ONE DRIVERS SAY THIS IS A DANGEROUS TRACK, DO YOU FEEL THAT IT IS? DO YOU FEEL THERE IS ASPHALT PROBLEMS AS WELL?
ROBBY GORDON: "I've watched Monaco and I don't see how this can be anymore dangerous than Monaco.
WHAT ARE THE BEST OVERTAKING PLACES ON THIS TRACK?
ROBBY GORDON: "You really want me to tell this guys, no, I'm just kidding (laughs). Qualifying. I expect to see cautions for the first part of the race, too."
HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO SUPERCAR TRACKS?
MARCOS AMBROSE: "Yea, we've run a lot of street course on the V8 Supercar, I've come from Europe, too and raced quite a few. The track is great, it really is. It's demanding; it's exciting. The surface is smooth; it's got a lot of grip. It's a great race track to drive on. It's a lot of fun without a doubt. Robby's just squealin' in my ear, Surfer's Paradise. It's all chicanes and concrete around you. It's bang on to this. We've got the high speeds in the straights, brake well and carry the momentum. We raced V8 Supercars on street tracks, so I don't see any issues this weekend. The V8 Supercars that I've come from are 3500 pounds and 640 horsepower, not enough tire, not enough down force, I mean it's identical to what we are doing here. There's nothing wrong with these cars on this track."
-credit: ford racing