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IZOD IndyCar Series: Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestlé

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestlé

IZOD IndyCar Series: Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestlé

Ryan Hunter-Reay
Will Power
April 30, 2011


WILL POWER: -- you can go down to the bottom. I'd be saying that if I was in the middle of the pack, too. I started fifth, got hit, cut tire to the back.
THE MODERATOR: First corner is going to be very tight. Ryan, how do you feel? People are going to feel uncomfortable anyways.
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: Well, that's the thing with this track: you can pass. There's three different straightaways we can pass on. We don't get that on any other street circuit in the world. That's what the drivers have to understand tomorrow. Just go racing. There's plenty of time to go race. You don't need to be absolutely desperate to pick up a spot on the restart.
I've been saying in the interviews that I think this is probably the most difficult double-file restart we've had all year because you're going from fourth gear down to first, where St. Petersburg was fourth gear down to second, a little bit more rolling speed in that first corner. Here it's tighter.
We'll see. I'll be saying my prayers tonight about it, that's for sure.
I'd like to say one other thing. We have a lot of DHL representatives this weekend. We're very proud to have that car up front this weekend. Hopefully we'll go have a big race for them tomorrow, go win it. This is the biggest outcome of support that we've had from DHL. It's a big race for us.

Q. (Question in Portuguese.)
WILL POWER: That definitely causes some concern to the start. It's basically right where you brake, the car bottoms out. You lose grip a little bit before it lands again.
I think, at the end of the day, with more fuel, it's going to be worse. The car's going to be a little bit lower. But I think everyone's just got to be sensible and be aware of that.
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: I think that will create mistakes, absolutely. Just hope we're not on the receiving end of one. But, yeah, I think that could create some mistakes on the restarts.

Q. (Question in Portuguese.)
WILL POWER: No, I think there's no point on the track that I'm better at. It's all little details add up to a quick lap time. Yeah, I mean, I think the key to the race is just to survive, especially if it rains tomorrow, if there's a lot of restarts. If it's dry, it's going to be pretty straightforward. Dry I think there will be less yellows, definitely make the race easier for me.

Q. Brian Barnhart said no driver has come to him and asked him to grind the hump at the entry to turn one. Do you think it's better to leave it there or would it be better off if they could smooth that out a little bit?
WILL POWER: I mean, of course it would be better if it was out just for the fact that we've had so many incidents into the first corners on restarts this year that, yeah, it would be nice if they did grind it down.
I don't know. It's all good. I don't mind it. In qualifying, it's fine.
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: It's not so bad when you're by yourself. When you have a bunch of cars going down into there with full tanks of fuel and cold tires, might not be ideal. I don't know if they're going to grind it or not.

Q. Can you explain the rules on if you miss turn one or shortcut turn two, what's the procedure going to be during the race?
WILL POWER: You lose time. It doesn't matter. There's no penalty.

Q. What about turn two?
WILL POWER: Yeah, the same. Is it possible to cut behind turn two? If you go back around there, you're not going to gain anything.

Q. If you go between the curb and the tires on turn two.
WILL POWER: That's a different story.
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: That's tight. I don't know. Then you're going to get mixed up with some cars. They said if you make a pass there and gain position from it, then you'll have to give it back up.

Q. In which corner are you thinking to overpass Will Power?
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: You know, you think I know right now (laughter)? He passed me for the win last year in 11. I'd like to do the same back to him.

Q. I haven't yet seen what you're going to be given in terms of the 'push to pass'. Do you know if on these long straightaways, you know you have a 10-second delay between pushes, is it possible to use it more than once on that long straightaway?
WILL POWER: Definitely not (laughter). You'd have to be on there a long time. 10 seconds. You're only probably on the straight for 15 if you're lucky. You can do it twice in a lap, I'm pretty sure. I reckon you could use it twice in a lap, yeah.

Q. Ryan, you have been so close to win Long Beach. You must have some kind of regret the fact that you didn't. At least your teammate did. I would like to know if you think that this race can be the ideal chance to forget it. Talk about the competitiveness that Andretti Motorsport has this year because the team struggled so much last year.
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: Well, I think the first question about bouncing back from Long Beach. It's been a tough start to the season for me, getting taken out from behind in St. Pete, and then the penalty with Briscoe at Barber, then the mechanical failure 10 laps from the end while being second in Long Beach.
This place is a perfect place to come on a rebound from that because, as I've been saying, you can go racing here. Even if you're starting second or third or fourth or fifth, you have a shot at winning.
We're just going to have to make the car a little bit better tomorrow and go for it. If it rains, hey, who knows, that might be fun. So we'll see.
As for Andretti Autosport, I think it's my first time coming back for a full second year with any team. That makes a big difference for me first, just working with the same people, being in the same car, the same environment, with the same engineer. That makes a huge, huge difference.
The teammates are working very well together. You know, a lot of communication back and forth. Now we have to put it all together on the ovals, which is coming up here pretty soon, with the biggest one of the year coming up, Indy.
We'll see where we really measure up when we get on the ovals. We know the speed is there on the road and streets.

Q. (Question in Portuguese.)
WILL POWER: Yeah, there's not much you can say. He knows it was a mistake. What can you do? He's racing, racing hard. It's a racing incident.
But I'm sure he's going to be careful. I think a lot of people have been given a bit of grief about hitting people the first couple races.
It's more a product of the double-file restarts. Puts drivers in that position. I keep saying it, but it's not for our series. It's a NASCAR thing. They can bump. Our cars, you touch a tire and you cut the tire, you break the front wing. Yeah, it's better at Long Beach because it's spread out a little bit. Hopefully we do the same here.

Q. (Question in Portuguese.)
WILL POWER: No. I mean, it's unbelievable. They've done such an awesome job of repaving this track. It's like first class. It sets the standard for street and road courses for us. No bumps, smooth, just a lot of fun.
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: I hope this race is a huge success. When you read as a driver that they're repaving the whole circuit, you know, you're sitting at home reading that, that really shows that the track wants us here, wants IndyCar racing here. Hopefully we'll put on a great show for you guys and be back here for many more years.
As Will said, it's a street course template now, one to model after.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for your time. Congratulations, Will. Thank you, Ryan.
WILL POWER: Thank you.

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