IZOD INDYCAR SERIES
THE SHELL AND PENNZOIL GRAND PRIX OF HOUSTON
TEAM CHEVY FRIDAY QUALIFYING RECAP WITH SELECT DRIVER QUOTES
OCTOBER 4, 2013
FRIDAY PRACTICE RECAP
DETROIT (October 4, 2013) – After a delay in starting today’s IZOD IndyCar Series practice for the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston for two and one-half hours to put in temporary fix to make the track more drivable, Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet emerged second fastest at the end of the day.
Other Team Chevy drivers in the top-five of the fastest drivers in the day’s combined times were Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 1 DHL Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, and Sebastien Bourdais, No. 7 McAfee Dragon Racing Chevrolet, who were fourth and fifth respectively.
The delay in starting practice also forced a change in the qualifying procedure for Race No. 1 and Race No. 2. Rather than the Firestone Fast Six, qualifying for the first of the two races will be held Saturday morning at 10:45 a.m. CST with two groups of cars in 12-minute sessions each prior to the running of Race No. 1 at Reliant Park in Houston which kicks off at 2:40 p.m., CST. The same qualifying procedure for Race No. 2 will be held on Sunday at 8: 45 a.m. CST. And the weekend concludes with the running of Race No. 2 on Sunday at 12:40 p.m., CST.
Both races will have live TV coverage on NBC Sports Network. Additional live coverage will be provided by IMS Radio Network on XM and Sirius Channels 211 as well as on www.indycar.com live timing and scoring.
CHEVROLET IN THE IZOD INDYCAR SERIES – FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 2ND IN PRACTICE:
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT TODAY’S PRACTICE SESSIONS?
“Yeah, there was obviously a little bit of a delay there with the chicane but I think they got the problem fixe there in turn one. But apart from that we all got plenty of miles and got used to it. I think qualifying is going to be pretty interesting because the braking point in turn one is going to be a lot faster than the last time we were here. So a good day for us and a good car and am really hoping we can challenge for the pole tomorrow.”
HOW MUCH DOES EXPERIENCE HELP YOU?
“Well, the track is a lot different actually. They have moved the curbs out and I really couldn’t remember it here well anyway. But yes, we have been here before but none of the stuff we have used here before relays over. So I think everyone is kind of on par now and it’s the typical guys here at the front and although, yeah, Justin (Wilson) and I have both raced here.”
IT WAS ONLY PRACTICE BUT HELIO SEEMED TO HAVE SOME ISSUES OUT THERE. DO YOU FEEL LIKE HE IS STARTING TO HAVE SOME OF THE PRESSURE STARTS TO FALL ON A GUY IN HIS POSITION?
“I think he is just trying things because of the way he drives. He is very aggressive and I am sure he is feeling pressure because he has been wanting a championship his whole career and he is very, very close to getting that. So I am sure he doesn’t want anything to go wrong this weekend and wants to qualify as well as he can. To me he has been at the absolute best that I have seen him this year. He is quick everywhere and he is quick here again today and I think he is getting it the right way in every race to get the points basically. He has not taken the massive risks and that has been what has put him in this position. So, I would expect him to do the same again this weekend.”
ARE THERE ANY OTHER AREAS OF THE TRACK THAT THEY SHOULD LOOK AT?
“Actually there are no really terrible areas and its not too bad. After Baltimore, it feels smooth. It’s not a dig at Baltimore, it’s good that it adds character to the track you could say. It’s not bad, not too bad at all.”
HOW BAD IS THE HEAT AFFECTING YOU OUT THERE NOW AND HOW DO YOU EXPECT IT TO PLAY OUT IN A WEEKEND WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO BE LOGGING A LOT MORE MILES THAN USUAL?
“Yes, it’s tough and as soon as we finished that session I was like ‘man, it’s going to be hard doing two races’. But a race will be really difficult because I got out after that session and I was absolutely spent. So, yes, it will be hard.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO 1 DHL ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, 4TH IN PRACTICE: “I think we’ve been in the ballpark all day. I think the DHL Chevy is good – I’m pretty happy with where we are right now. Everybody is a little bit frustrated with how tight this place is in dealing with traffic, but I can say qualifying is going to be at a premium. Everything is good though, we’re happy with it. We only sustained a left-front suspension damage this morning so all good. You have to step over the limit to know where the limit is.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, 5TH IN PRACTICE: “Kind of a weird day. Not exactly what we were hoping for on the #7 McAfee TRUECar. Car is pretty fast finishing p5 in the second practice after missing pretty much the entire first practice. Unfortunately we had to replace the engine for an internal failure so we will have to start p10 in best case scenario. We finished on the podium from 22nd in Baltimore, so it could be worse. It’s not going to be easy work for sure.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 SHELL V-POWER/PENNZOIL ULTRA TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 11TH IN PRACTICE: “It was a productive day for the Shell and Pennzoil team. They did a great job. Unfortunately, it was just a little bit over the limit for me, and we weren’t able to put it all together. But I’m very happy with how the car came out of practice in good shape. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the track is tomorrow, and I’m excited for qualifying and the first race of the weekend in front of the fans here in Houston.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 HYDROXYCUT KV RACING TECHNOLOGY – SH RACING CHEVROLET, 12TH IN PRACTICE:
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, 13TH IN PRACTICE:
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HVM CHEVROLET, 16TH IN PRACTICE:
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY PINK ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, 19TH IN PRACTICE: “Obviously it’s a bit of an abnormal day with the way everything transpired. It’s too bad that we had to make that adjustment to the track to get out there and run, but I think it was a compromise that at least got us some track time on 95% of the track we are going to be running. The GoDaddy PINK car is actually pretty quick, we were never on track with everybody else at the same time, but I think we are in or around the top five. Unfortunately, in the second session we had a couple problems – we had a battery die – and that cost us some time, we didn’t get new tires and didn’t get through all the changes we wanted to try. At least it wasn’t qualifying; and I think it almost actually works out better. I think maybe next year we should look into having qualifying for Saturday on Saturday morning, and qualifying for Sunday on Sunday morning and give us a full day of practice on Friday. That may be the good thing to come out of today. But happy Ryan (Hunter-Reay) was quick and I think as a team we can be competitive tomorrow.”
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, 20TH IN PRACTICE:
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, 21ST IN PRACTICE:
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 6 TRUECAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, 22ND IN PRACTICE: “It was an interesting day for everyone out there. We did not get the amount of track time that we expected which you need in a place like this to understand it. We made progress in the #6 Dragon Racing TRUECar during the second practice session but were unable to put the fast time we were looking fo
r down when we needed it. We feel we have something strong for tomorrow’s qualifying session and race. Its all about taking care of the tires and getting as much experience each lap we put out. So far so good!’
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA/ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, 23RD IN PRACTICE: “I would lying if I didn’t say this is one of the more odd practice days of my career. It seems even worse than Baltimore’s first race. It’s a tough place. It’s rough. It’s slick. There were so many yellows that we missed a lot of track time today. I will say that I like this schedule format than the other doubleheaders with the Friday qualifying. We’ll qualifying on Saturday and Sunday now. We made some progress today and I am getting more comfortable with the track.”