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INDYCAR MEDIA DAY


March 11, 2015


Sebastien Bourdais

Stefano Coletti

Jimmy Vasser


THE MODERATOR:テつ Welcome, everyone, to today's IndyCar conference call.テつ Earlier this week KV Racing Technology announced that Stefano Coletti would be joining the team.テつ Joining us today to speak about their recent announcement is team co-owner Jimmy Vasser, driver Sebastien Bourdais, and Stefano Coletti.テつ
Gentlemen, welcome to the call.テつ
Stefano, congratulations on the announcement.テつ You've had a brief time with the team so far.テつ In that time, what excites you most about the upcoming season?テつ
STEFANO COLETTI:テつ Yeah, it's a very exciting thing.テつ I've always wanted to come race in the States, and in IndyCar.テつ Everyone here in KV made it possible.テつ All the people that works with me did it, too.テつ
I'm very excited, especially about the ovals.テつ I've never driven an oval, so I think it's going to be quite tough.テつ But I'll be learning this year.テつ
JIMMY VASSER:テつ Stefano showed good speed.テつ He's a great addition to the team.テつ This big eight-month layoff, we are all itching to get these cars back on the track, get this show on the road.テつ
The introduction of the aero kits has shown everybody that IndyCar is moving forward.テつ Seems like there's a lot of great interest in the aero kit, so I'm excited to see how we stack up against Honda on that.テつ
How about you, Seb?テつ
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:テつ I think it's a very good thing that Stefano is joining KV Racing.テつ I think he's very quick.テつ I think we have a lot of good laughs.テつ It's all positive.テつ
Yeah, just very much eager to get going after a long off-season and a very interesting 2014 season.テつ A lot of things ahead of us, a lot of work in the next two weeks.テつ Basically the entire winter preparation stacked in a couple of weeks, and then the first race.テつ
Very much eager to get going.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll open it up for questions.テつ

Q.テつ Sebastien, can you tell me, do you feel you're getting back up into the top echelon of IndyCar again?テつ Has it been a gradual move for you or what do you think?テつ
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:テつ Yeah, I mean, like I said, we had a really interesting 2014 season with a lot of promise, a lot of missed opportunities, some lack of performance on ovals due to basically some luck.テつ
I think we've really tried hard all winter to capitalize on all the data and all the knowledge we accumulated last year trying to understand the car better and make the whole package quicker.テつ
The guys have done a really tremendous job on that.テつ We've basically treated the two sessions, both at NOLA and Sebring, with the old aero kit to try and validate our tools.テつ That was pretty successful.テつ
Now we're ready to go and discover the car with the new aero kit, which obviously is going to be very different, and we'll have to optimize in five days of testing.テつ
A big challenge ahead of us.テつ I think I'm back to my very best in IndyCar with a good team, good sponsors.テつ Just really looking forward to getting started.テつ

Q.テつ You got the aero kit a month or so ago.テつ Has that made it a challenge?テつ
JIMMY VASSER:テつ We just got the aero kits this week.テつ

Q.テつ Does that make it really difficult going in with a few weeks until the season?
JIMMY VASSER:テつ Well, everybody is in the same place.テつ Same for everyone, except for the teams that got to test the aero kit.テつ I think they have an advantage.テつ
That's behind us now.テつ We're not going to worry about that anymore.テつ We have two weeks, we have our first aero kit test this Saturday at NOLA.テつ Like Sebastien said, we focus on building our toolbox.テつ The team has done a good job over the off-season doing that.テつ

Q.テつ Sebastien, can you talk a little bit about opening up this season with your home being in St. Petersburg.テつ What are you looking forward to?テつ How are you preparing differently this year?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:テつ I really hope that I can turn my luck around because St. Pete hasn't been kind to me.テつ I had a dream weekend for the first time in 2003, being on pole for my very first race in Champ Car, then leading the race until the whole thing fell apart and I really made a mess of it.テつ I haven't been a contender since then.テつ
We had a really strong last year, but had an incident at the start and busted a front wing which put us all the way back.テつ We fought back twice.テつ I think we passed 15 cars and finished where we started.テつ That was really disappointing.テつ
I've been plenty fast over there.テつ It's always a special feeling to be racing in front of the family and friends who comes and attends.テつ But I want to put in good results.テつ That's really the key word of 2015.テつ
If you take 2014, take the overall performance we had, if you take half the results we should have had in terms of pure performance, we should be looking good.テつ
Kind of done trying to explain what happened, this and that.テつ I just want to go out there, have some fun, put in some strong finishes.テつ

Q.テつ Stefano, obviously your teammate is living here in the United States.テつ Are you currently preparing to move to the United States?テつ
STEFANO COLETTI:テつ We're actually looking for some flats here in Indianapolis because I want to be very close to the team, especially in my first year.テつ I think it's important to be here and work hard every day and be close to them.テつ
I think now we're not going to be very often here because we're driving a bit everywhere, then in April we have three weekends in a row.テつ I think from end of April, we'll probably look at some flats around here.テつ

Q.テつ How long have you been in Indianapolis now leading up to the announcement?テつ Are you experiencing any jetlag?テつ Have you been able to get your feet landed on the ground here in Indianapolis?
STEFANO COLETTI:テつ I just got here last night.テつ We had a lot of things to do this morning.テつ We had some medical checks to do.テつ I'm starting to know my way around here and learning a bit the streets and where the team is especially.テつ
But it's all different from Europe.テつ I think it's a lot to get used to, but we'll do that.テつ It's going to be fine.テつ

Q.テつ Jimmy, I was wondering if you had any commercial announcements to make yet for the No. 4?
JIMMY VASSER:テつ Not yet, no.テつ We're putting together packages.テつ We have a couple things that are very exciting on the horizon.テつ Hopefully we'll have something to announce a week before the opening at St. Pete.テつ

Q.テつ Do you know if Matt Curry will be the engineer on that car?テつ
JIMMY VASSER:テつ Yes, Matt Curry will be the engineer on the 4 car.テつ

Q.テつ Looking forward to Long Beach, how special would it be for you to win at Long Beach?テつ What does that mean to you?テつ
JIMMY VASSER:テつ Every race is special to win.テつ Long Beach is probably the second most important race on the calendar next to Indianapolis.テつ
We won Long Beach before as a team with Will Power in the car in 2008.テつ I won Long Beach in '96.テつ It's a very special place, not only for the race team, but for my partner, Mr. Kevin Kalkhoven, who owns Long Beach, is the promoter there.テつ
We'll come with all the guns loaded.テつ Long Beach is always a great party and it's a home race for me, so it's a really cool race.テつ

Q.テつ How much would it mean for you to go to Long Beach and win?
JIMMY VASSER:テつ Oh, yeah, absolutely.テつ I'm from Southern California.テつ I won the Formula Atlantic race there in 1991.テつ The last time I raced there I won in the Pro Celebrity Race.テつ One of the highlights of my career (laughter).テつ
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:テつ Your driver actually won three times in a row in Long Beach.テつ
JIMMY VASSER:テつ Bourdais, yeah (laughter).テつ

Q.テつ What does it mean to you, Sebastien, having done that?テつ
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:テつ I'm not trying to steal the show here, but obviously it's a very special place for me.テつ It was kind of a love and hate relationship to begin with in 2003.テつ Then 2004 started to figure it out.テつ Finished on the podium.テつ 2005, '06, '07 won the race.テつ Got into a groove.テつ
Last year, unfortunately it was one of these races where I made a mess of it.テつ Strong contender last year.テつ Hopefully done making mistakes and hoping to capitalize on the strong feeling there and the good feeling on the track.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Seeing as we have no further questions for our guests, we'll wrap-up the IndyCar conference call.テつ

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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