TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
PRE-SEASON MEDIA DAY
FEBRUARY 18, 2014
An interview with:
RYAN BRISCOE, NO. 8 NTT DATA CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, met with members of the media and discussed his first full-season with Chip Ganassi Racing, expectations for the season, his CGR teammates, driving for Corvette Racing and other topic. Full transcript
THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by Ryan Briscoe.
How is it being a new dad?
RYAN BRISCOE: She’s doing great. She’s 10 weeks old now. No complaints. It’s all good.
THE MODERATOR: Ryan recently tested out on the West Coast. Tell us a little bit about that experience and what you can take away from going back into St. Petersburg.
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, good, really good. Any track time has been big for us with our crew. We’ve put together a new team to run the fourth car at Ganassi. Got a few familiar faces there, but a lot of new guys as well.
For Eric Cowdin, who is my engineer this year, we worked together for a few years at Penske. We’re both new, getting back integrated into Chip Ganassi Racing. A bit to learn for both of us. A few new mechanics and stuff.
The testing has been great, getting everybody working together, trying to get into a bit of a flow as we get closer to the first race. We’re testing one more time at Barber before the first race. Really there’s not a whole lot of track time.
We did Fontana last week on Monday, then to Sonoma on Wednesday. We got a lot of good data points from the oval to the road course, lots of good laps, lots of good information from the engine side.
All in all, it was really successful. For me, great to be getting the seat time. Feels good.
THE MODERATOR: You also participated in the Rolex 24. A little bit about that experience because it was a brand-new car you were driving.
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, I’m doing Daytona and I’ll be doing the Sebring 12 hours as well with Corvette Racing. It’s an awesome car. I’ve never raced GTs before, so I was a bit apprehensive going in.
The thing drives unbelievable. It really drives more like a sports car. Good downforce, lots of fun. From here I’ll be heading down to Sebring for testing this week. Anytime at the racetrack is good fun for me.
Q. Between driving for Chip and Roger, is there any thoughts of running both the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500?
RYAN BRISCOE: I’ve never really put any effort into talking to anyone about doing that, so not really.
I don’t have any experience driving stock cars. I think it’s a cool idea, but it takes a lot of effort from the team’s standpoint as well to make that happen. They probably look more towards guys that have won those races to begin with if someone’s going to do it. So, yeah.
Q. What are your thoughts about how this month of May looks to you? Two races, two thought processes.
RYAN BRISCOE: I think it’s going to be good ’cause I like the fact that we’re extending the month of May. I think it’s going to be an exciting way to open up the month of May with a big event. Something new for a lot of fans that will be there that maybe just go to the Indy 500 every year, haven’t seen what we actually do most of the time throughout the year, which is road course racing.
I think being able to showcase our diversity as a series on one venue, in one place, I think that’s going to be great for the series and great for a lot of the fans as well.
I can’t wait to drive the track. I did the testing back in November. We drove a couple of variations of the circuit going both ways down the straight, and the track will be different again to improve the racing.
I think it’s going to be great. It’s going to be a quick turnaround from race day to opening day for the oval the next day. It will be a refocus like you’re going to a new place because your mindset changes completely.
I’m hoping it’s a success. I think it’s a great idea. I’m hoping the fans really take to it.
Q. You spent most of your career with Penske or Ganassi. You have to play a role as a driver when you have big owners. How does Kanaan fit into a Chip world?
RYAN BRISCOE: Tony? He’s driven for big teams, too. I don’t know. Honestly, I’m not sure. I’m just getting to know Tony really.
I think Chip knows Tony pretty well before just hiring him, so he’s pretty comfortable with him. They almost signed a few years ago, as well. I guess time will tell. He’s definitely a fun character to have around. He’s always a lot of fun. He’s aggressive. He’s definitely got a unique driving style that I’ve picked up on the last couple tests, which is interesting to look at and learn from as well.
I’m looking forward to working with him. How he’s going to fit in? He has his own style, so I think he’ll fit in the way he always does. I think he’ll be good.
Q. You’ve had an interesting view at Scott Dixon. What makes him so successful?
RYAN BRISCOE: I think he’s just solid, man, like a rock. Even-keeled. He just gets the job done. Definitely having the continuity he’s had through highs and lows, he’s just been there the whole time. When he’s had those bad days, he doesn’t say bad things about the team. He just gets down to work and works really hard behind the scenes without publicizing it so much. I think that’s what he’s good at.
He’s a phenomenal driver. He’s fast, he’s consistent. He’s just the same every year. You can always count on him going for a championship again
THE MODERATOR Last year you had a few races in IndyCar, injured your wrist, came back. Coming back for a full season, tell us your thoughts about that.
RYAN BRISCOE: It’s like everything I wanted after I didn’t get a full-time ride last year has sort of come true now. It’s really the perfect scenario. Last year we sort of got to a point around this time where I was like, Full-time ride is not looking good, but that’s all right, we’ll focus on doing something for the Indy 500, I’ll keep my racing up by doing the sports cars.
I didn’t think I would do as many IndyCar races as I ended up doing. The end goal was I want to get back to IndyCar and have a full-time ride in 2014. I thought my best way of doing that was to do the sports cars last year, then work hard from that point on on being here now.
It’s crazy. It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride to get here. Had a great run with Chip at the 500 last year. John Barnes gave me the opportunity with his team at the races that I could do, which was tough because I was racing the IndyCar one weekend, then I couldn’t do the next race because I was racing the sports car, then I could do the next race which was an oval. It was just all over the place. It was really hard to get that focus.
In the series that’s so competitive, you need that consistency to be competitive. But in saying that, things have worked out. I was there on the race weekends, keeping my face in front of the teams, everybody that needed to see me.
Anyway, things have worked out. I’m really excited to have this opportunity. It’s a huge chance to run with Chip this year. We’re working really hard on being strong. I’m working hard on being on top of my game and hopefully competitive.
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT