Driver Quotes from 5/29 Press Conference Following are notes from a few of the many drivers who participated in Thursday's media conference, part of THE FIRST UNION SIX HOUR ENDURANCE weekend. ...
Driver Quotes from 5/29 Press Conference
Following are notes from a few of the many drivers who participated in Thursday's media conference, part of THE FIRST UNION SIX HOUR ENDURANCE weekend.
Eric Van dePoele (#1 Danka/Toshiba Olds Riley & Scott Mk III) -- on his first visit to the Glen: "I'm very impressed. It's nice to be here."
Eliseo Salazar (#43 Ferrari 333SP) -- Salazar returns to the Glen for the first time since his win here in the Glen Continental in the Momo Ferrari with Gianpiero Moretti in 1994. He is pleased to return and hopes to have better luck here than in last week's Indy 500."I have good memories here, and I hope to win again." Salazar will make another transition later this year when he returns to the Glen in a NASCAR Supertruck.
Rob Morgan (#43 Ferrari 333SP) -- Believes the team has a "pretty good chance" for success here at the Glen, especially with the six hour format. This is his first WSC run here, but feels confident that the longer race will give him the time to adjust.
Fermin Velez (#3 Ferrari 3233SP) -- The first Spaniard to run the Indy 500 returns to the Glen looking for the win that he has "tried many times" to achieve, but as yet has missed by as little as one position. New teammate Eduardo Dibos is progressing well, but the great difference in the physical stature of the two men has presented some problems.
Eduardo Dibos (#3 Ferrari 3233SP) -- Dibos comes to the Glen still suffering rib pain from the Lime Rock race. "The seat doesn't fit," and Dibos says "I don't know what will happen here."
Jim Pace(#4 Pirelli Oldsmobile Riley&Scott MKIII) - Feels that the new condition of the track, which he dubs "a real road course" will "show off the preparation and the reliability of the car."
Antonio Hermann ( #30 Ferrari 333SP) - Won at Lime Rock on his birthday. "I've only done five laps here, but I love the track, although the newly repaved Boot is a bit slippery."
Andrea Montermini (#30 Ferrari 333SP) -- "I hope I can share Antonio's (Hermann) luck, because my birthday is Friday." Also hopes that the chance of rain that is in the forecast will not be a problem.
Butch Leitzinger (#16 - Acknowledges Ferrari's straight line advantage, but points out that the Dyson cars are better in traffic. Expects a strong finish at the Glen after alternator problems hurt their run at Lime Rock.
James Weaver - Although Leitzinger relies on the experience of his teammates as well as his own abilities, Weaver maintains that he (Leitzinger) has been the faster in the past.
Ross Bentley - Problems which put t;he team far back in the field for a time at Road Atlanta "made it more fun", and Bentley also feels that they will be in better shape for this weekend's six hour race than for a three hour.
Jeff Jones - Representing the Make-A-Wish foundation, Jones has switched from last year's Argo to a Rile&Scott. While the Argo was "a good test car", "the R&S is fantastic". Approximately 20 "Make-A-Wish kids" in attendance at this weekend's race.
Perry McCarthy - On his first visit in seven years, was surprised by the Inner Loop on the back straight that was added after his last race here.
Barry Waddell - Did not expect to run here, but feels that he was "very fortunate to show up this morning", and will be running with McCarthy.
Hurley Haywood(#05 MK Systems Pontiac Firebird Formula) - The winningest driver in the history of Watkins Glen International is finding it "exciting" to be here this weekend, partnered with Simon Gregg for the Speedvision Cup. Gregg is the son of Haywood's former partner, the late Peter Gregg.
Stu Hayner (#32 Phoenix American Motorsports Pontiac Firebird Formula)- In spite of the fact that running with the faster WSC cars "makes it tough," he enjoys the challenge that the presented by the contrast.
Scott Maxwell (#27 Ford Mustang Cobra)- When running in a multi-class field, Maxwell states that it's important to "ignore everybody else and what they're doing, and focus on what you need to be doing." Maxwell will be driving the new Ford Panoz, which is expected to be quite competitive in this event.
Derek Hill (#6 Yokohama BMW M3) - Not having had the chance to get out on the course as yet this trip, Hill is "looking forward to getting out there and trying it out." A driver who enjoys driving "anything I can", He will run three races at the Glen this season : Both the Six Hours and the Speedvision Cup this weekend, and the Barber Dodge Pro Series race in late June.
Javier Quiros (#6 Yokohama BMW M3) - The competition that exists between cars finds no home within the teams themselves. "It's a matter of teamwork. It doesn't matter who gets there first."
Cort Wagner -(#76 Yokohama Porsche 911) Ran the track on foot to get a more accurate feel for the surface conditions. "It's going to be interesting" as some areas are slick, but the conditions should improve over the duration of the race.
Andy Pilgrim (#01 Porsche 911 Turbo/#98 Ford Mustang Cobra R)- Several drivers, including Pilgrim, will be running in more than one event this race weekend. But each race is separate, and running the odd race against a sometimes teammate is not usually a problem. "You don't really think about that".
Sylvain Tremblay (#70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-7)- Many drivers have described the Glen as a very fast track, have discussed the difficulty of driving with several classes, and expressed a need for adjustment time in adapting to a new course or a new car.Tremblay puts it simply , stating that you had better "learn quick or you'll get run over".
Nick Ham (#70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-7 Turbo)- Having "as good a year as I can remember", Ham sees as many as 20 cars that can be in the running for a win.
RAIN PILVE (#67 Black Magic Pro Series Toyota World Sports Racer) -- "This is my first visit to this race track. The track is very hilly. It reminds of the Spa, where I raced in Europe. It seems very, very quick. I'm hoping to run in the top five in Sunday's race. We changed engines after our last race at Road Atlanta, and I hope this one is better. (Rain is a resident of Tallinn, Estonia. His racing exploits have captured the attention of the Eastern European media (he is a former Formula Car champion of the old USSR), with a number of Estonian journalists and fans here this weekend. Miss Estonia will also be in attendance Sunday.)
Will Nonnemaker (#41 Planet Earth Motorsports Maxda MX-6 -- "Planet Earth Motorsports is working on ways to protect the environment while going racing. They use recycled oil, and recycle all possible containers used in their shop. 10% of any prize money we earn will be awarded to the local council of the Boy Scouts of America, and we will have many Scouts from Troop 50 in Odessa as our guests tomorrow. "
Mike Anderson (#42 Black Magic Pro Series Toyota World Sports Racer) - In spite of the questionable weather report, Anderson is "feeling a little confident" about this weekend's race.