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INDYCAR MEDIA CONFERENCE


May 7, 2015


Scott Dixon

Simon Pagenaud

Will Power

Graham Rahal


THE MODERATOR:テつ Graham Rahal and Will Power have joined us.テつ
What's it like?テつ You had a variety of interesting experiences, a fair amount of races coming into this event.テつ What did it feel like out there today?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ It's very nice.テつ Whenever you get on the road course, you realize this is one of the nicest places we come.テつ It's so smooth.テつ It's like a European style track.テつ I really love it.テつ
It's a lot of fun, really technical.テつ From my side, a reasonable window.テつ Definitely hard to tell.テつ Struggled there a little bit at the end with the setup.テつ Maybe went the wrong direction.テつ
But still got another practice session to work it out.テつ We'll have a good look at all the data overnight and see what we can come up with.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Warm day, Graham.テつ I don't know if that affected anything in your mind today.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ Yeah, I mean, it got pretty toasty there at the end.テつ Second practice.テつ But, you know, same for everybody.テつ
Track probably lost a little bit of grip with the heat like that.テつ More and more rubber is going to lay down.テつ As Will said, it's awesome to come here.テつ You get spoiled by how smooth this place is.テつ
Going from here to Detroit is going to be pretty interesting (laughter).テつ
WILL POWER:テつ It's been resurfaced.テつ It's in pretty good shape (laughter).テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ You work for the boss (laughter).テつ
WILL POWER:テつ No, it has.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ It's great to be here.テつ You know, lead the charge for Honda, it feels good.テつ That's been our goal:テつ if we can't be fastest overall, we need to lead in our camp.テつ
We've got a lot of work to do.テつ As you can see, it's half a second to the Chevys.テつ I don't know where half a second is going to come from, but we're going to try awfully hard to try to find it.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ But you come in after a good performance.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ Barber was fun.テつ It's not every day you get to be in that sort of position, be able to attack like that, make up positions like that.テつ
I think it was good, hard racing.テつ Everybody raced hard and clean.テつ It was a good time.テつ I think we made up 17 seconds in seven laps, came up one second short.テつ
Fortunately we have this weekend to go and try again to see if we can do one better.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll take questions.テつ

Q.テつ Will, would it be fair to say, judging by what we saw, that you fully explored the limits today?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah, definitely exploring the limits there.テつ It's a track you can do that on because not too many things to hit.テつ
No question, I was very loose at the beginning of the session.テつ I'm just trying in the braking zones, as well, trying to get everything dialed in so I can catch the Kiwi beside me here, sneaky guy (laughter).テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Scott Dixon joins us.テつ Your impressions before we open it up again for questions.テつ
SCOTT DIXON:テつ It's a lot of fun when you're at Indianapolis, road course or oval.テつ I think this track is a little different to a lot of them in the sheer fact you trim out so much.テつ
It can be frustrating at times piecing a lap together.テつ When you do it's rewarding.テつ As all of us have been off track trying to explore the limits.テつ
I don't know.テつ The track is pretty slippery I find this year, maybe due to the tar field getting a little bit older.テつ But it's definitely been a lot of fun today.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll continue with questions.テつ

Q.テつ After Barber there seemed to be a lot of tire degradation.テつ You could actually see what I would not call marbles, but big chunks of rubber coming off.テつ Do you expect to see anything like that?テつ If your tires don't degrade, because Firestone does make a good tire, what about where you can pass here on this road course?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah, definitely not going to degrade like they did at Barber.テつ Hope yours does, but mine is good on a long run (laughter).テつ
Yeah, passing into one, into seven, maybe into 12, it depends.テつ Yeah, depends how much someone's trimmed or how much downforce someone is running.テつ
It's going to make it interesting for the racing because you can trim so much or run a lot of the downforce, kind of work out a similar lap time.テつ So we'll see.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ I think Will said it all.テつ The interesting thing about here is the trim levels.テつ The tire degradation is one thing if you're running heavier on downforce.テつ Start to trim out a lot, you're probably going to work the rears a lot harder.テつ You never know what can happen here or in the race.テつ I think we saw that last year.テつ A lot of guys I thought were really strong, when we went to the long run, they struggled a little bit.テつ
With a straightaway this long, you ought to be able to pass at least a couple guys in one shot.テつ It's pretty long.テつ I don't know if this is the longest place we go to, but you can definitely get a heck of a draft around here, front and back.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Simon Pagenaud has joined us, defending race winner.テつ Your impressions?テつ
SIMON PAGENAUD:テつ Yeah, no, it's interesting.テつ I mean, we're testing the new aero package.テつ It's just a matter of understanding what the car needs.テつ
So far so good.テつ I think the Penske cars are in pretty good shape.テつ Yeah, the heat is going to be interesting this weekend, and the weather as well.テつ We don't know, it might be raining.テつ Anything can happen.テつ
Certainly quite slippery in eight and nine.テつ There's a lot of grass on the track.テつ Will is cutting the racetrack too much (laughter).テつ

Q.テつ Scott and Will, give me your take on the aero package and how it differs this year compared to last year.テつ
SCOTT DIXON:テつ I thought it would have been quicker.テつ But I think the track obviously needs to rubber in.テつ The temperatures are really hot today.テつ Obviously it's not that fast.テつ
But, you know, I think you trim to a relatively similar kind of downforce level.テつ L over D changes a little bit.テつ It doesn't seem like there's a massive difference to a lot of the tracks we go to.テつ This year it's generally been a little bit quicker.テつ
I think for me it's generally been a lot more tuneable for each driver.テつ The DW12, you had big windows and big steps to get to.テつ And this one seems to have finer adjustments.テつ That's just my take.テつ

Q.テつ Will?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ The aero kit, yeah, got to remember there's a hole in the floor, the straights are taken out.テつ That's probably why it's not quicker around here.テつ
I like it.テつ It's like Scott says:テつ there's finer adjustments.テつ The DW12, you're boxed into a certain driving style, and with this one you can definitely set it up to suit yourself a bit more, so the window's bigger, I guess.テつ
Yeah, it's going to be interesting how it races and drafts, what sorts of drafts you get.テつ We'll see that during the race.テつ

Q.テつ If it rains, what is the word you're hearing?テつ Is it go no matter what level of rain?テつ Is there some amount of rain in which it's not going to happen?テつ What's the word you have?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ I think you saw what we qualified in last year.テつ Yeah, it's just a balance.テつ Obviously you can't get to the point where you're aquaplaning on the straight.テつ We can run in the wet and we should.テつ

Q.テつ Given what you now, would this track seem to be a place where it would be more or less of a problem?テつ
SCOTT DIXON:テつ I don't know.テつ Last year, from memory, it's really only the middle straight - right - that puddled quite a bit.テつ We ran, it was pretty wet in qualifying.テつ A big downpour.テつ
The other issue is kind of the lightning, the 10-mile radius.テつ That's where we've lost sessions or delayed things, has been for lightning, not necessarily rain.テつ

Q.テつ We did have some changing conditions last year in qualifying, starting out pretty wet, getting dryer.テつ With the aero kits the way they are now, do you expect to have to change a lot more than you did last year?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah, I think it will be similar.テつ Obviously you go to rain setup, things that can help you out grip-wise because the grip is so little.テつ I think you'll be doing similar adjustments, yeah, for sure.テつ

Q.テつ This is going to be a rolling start after last year.テつ How does the rolling start work coming out of the final turn?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Well, if it's Helio, he'll have half a straight lead.テつ Everybody else, it will be a normal rolling start, I think (laughter).テつ
SCOTT DIXON:テつ I don't think it matters.テつ It's the same for everybody in those situations.テつ Last year was a different circumstance because of the track surfaces.テつ It caught a lot of people out at the start obviously with stalling.テつ
I don't know, you can beat this to death all the time.テつ IndyCar racing has been rolling starts for, you know, as long as most of us can remember.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ I think Scott just said it.テつ IndyCar racing, you look at the history, it's not standing starts.テつ To me, you know, why mess with tradition?テつ I don't think that we need to do that.テつ
You know, rolling start should be pretty good here.テつ You have such a long straightaway, I'm sure guys are going to try to go early to get somewhat of a gap.テつ
It's not like Long Beach.テつ Obviously that one wasn't a good one this year.テつ The rest of them have been all right.テつ
With a straightaway this long, I think you can have a good, clean start, plenty of passing and opportunity.テつ
SIMON PAGENAUD:テつ Well, personally I like diversity, so I wouldn't mind a standing start.テつ I thought it was pretty fun.テつ I like the excitement when the red light comes on and off.テつ
It is what it is.テつ We just have to do the rolling starts.テつ

Q.テつ Scott, you had the quickest time in the second practice.テつ What adjustments did you make from the earlier session to the second?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah (laughter)?テつ
SIMON PAGENAUD:テつ Tell us (laughter).テつ
SCOTT DIXON:テつ Normally what we've been doing is we roll off, make a bunch of changes, then go back to where we started.テつ I don't know, we keep going in big circles.テつ
That's good, because we're finding things that don't work but we haven't found too many that do.テつ
I think a lot of today was a little bit of, you know, balance, aerodynamic kind of downforce levels and things like that.テつ It was a broad range.テつ There was a ton of track time, but not a whole lot of tires to run on.テつ
We went through the changes, but pretty much came back to where we started.テつ

Q.テつ Graham, the Honda situation, it feels like they're farther behind, but you look at the results...テつ Are you behind when you're going down the frontstretch and losing horsepower or is it still the downforce issue from not having your aero kits?
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ I don't know that it's either.テつ
I know our trap speeds, I think all the Chevys are quicker than the Hondas here on trap speed.テつ I think it's probably just a bit of drivability.テつ I mean, these guys are over here talking about adjusting it to their driving style.テつ I'm finding a hard time doing that.テつ
You know, I think at this point we just have to find a little bit everywhere.テつ The car is pretty hard to drive.テつ It's pretty pitch sensitive.テつ You find you're sideways more than you're pointed straight.テつ As I said, if you're doing that, it's fast, that's okay.テつ That's where we've been this year.テつ
It's not typically how I would have set up a racecar, but it's worked for us so far.テつ I think the guys at Honda are working awfully hard at digging away to find more power, a little less drag.テつ We'll have to see how it plays out.テつ
If you look at the Honda by the eye, there's a lot more to it.テつ It's pretty tricky, I think, to get all the combinations right.テつ But, you know, at this point we just got to do what we have to do to try to make the thing go a little bit quicker.テつ
I don't think, us as a team, we've never had it in a wind tunnel or anything like that.テつ We're just kind of having to keep it pretty simple and do what we need to do to help improve the car.テつ
It's tricky around here, I'm not going to lie.テつ Today was difficult to get time out of it, for sure.テつ Barber, in the race my car was very good.テつ I think my strength was rear tires.テつ I was able to keep the rears under me and it worked great.テつ There's been other places like Long Beach where it's the opposite.テつ I think you just got to keep working hard.テつ

テつテつテつテつ FastScripts by ASAP Sports


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