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Firestone Indy Lights: Infineon Raceway 100

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Infineon Raceway 100

Firestone Indy Lights: Infineon Raceway 100

James Davison
Felipe Guimaraes
August 23, 2009


SONOMA, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR: We have been joined in the press conference center by second-place finisher, James Davison. Recorded his third top five finish in a row in the Vision Racing car. Earlier this year he won the race at Mid-Ohio sports car course. We're also joined by Felipe Guimaraes, competing in his third Firestone Indy Lights event. He finished third, fourth and now second so far this season. Talk a little bit about your race today.
FELIPE GUIMARAES: I think was really good. Our race was tough for me because we didn't have a perfect car, but was good. I think JR had a really good car. He was really strong, really fast. This is his home, you know, this track. So I think he had been practicing a lot here.
But I think was really good. I'm very proud with my team. They did a good job this week, and better than the other race. I'm very happy. I could do what the car could do. Was really good.
THE MODERATOR: James, talk about your race today, as well.
JAMES DAVISON: Yeah, I mean, for both of us, we made good starts and got positions. I got by Hinchcliffe. Yeah, didn't quite qualify where I wanted to yesterday. Starting fifth, we kind of figure we were about second quickest in the practice, that's where we would have liked. I knew passing was going to be difficult. The best opportunity was going to be on the start and restart. I got Hinchcliffe on the start and basically Ana on one of the restarts. By the time I got Ana, Felipe was quite a way away.
Based on where I am in the championship, it was one of those days where I just drove a safe race.
So, yeah, could have been a bit more out of me in terms of lap times. But for sure if I caught (indiscernible), it would have been difficult to pass him. We've got the same under us car setup-wise, being teammates. Yeah, I think having qualified fifth, to make up two positions on this track in an Indy Lights car, a podium finish is pretty good.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.

Q. James, you have been running extremely steady this year. For a new team, in the last four or five races you've been moving up substantially. I don't think you've had much under a top 10 the whole season. The last four or five races you've been podium or very close. What has been the difference?
JAMES DAVISON: It's just taken us a little time to catch our stride. Being a first-year team into the series, in its current Firestone Indy Lights form, Vision was there when it was the Indy Pro Series. Post unification, there's more road courses. It's just taken us time to get everything right, to develop the car to my liking, to get all the parts on the cars on the ovals, et cetera.
You know, I've realized that it's all about finishing. And I think now I have the all-time series record of consecutive finishes, 18. Yeah, I've just been chipping away at it, not trying to overstep it, throw it down the road. Yeah, we finished outside of the top 10 once when we got punted off. Yeah, we've been very consistent. Yeah, just been patient with the team. That was always going to be a key. It was always going to take time and mistakes, et cetera. Yeah, got to be happy with where we're at.
Of course, I would have loved to have won. For sure at this track 90% of the result is determined after qualifying.

Q. Felipe, we were watching lap times in the press box. JR was gaining half a second every single lap. What was going through your mind as you started seeing him getting farther and farther away? Were you trying to run him down? How much better was his car compared to yours?
FELIPE GUIMARAES: I think his car is always good every track, oval track, the road track as I saw the last race and the other races. During the race he was really fast and I couldn't catch him. My car was good. I was about the best I could. I was trying so hard. Then I said I can't catch him. I start to be patient, to be calm with my car, don't push so hard because I have no one behind of me. So I was just saving my car and finishing second position.

Q. This is your third race. The worst you've done so far is fourth. Having come to this series, you ran Star Mazda which is a somewhat similar car, this has more horsepower, how do you transition and do extremely well?
FELIPE GUIMARAES: Well, I think is really good, no, third race, two podiums. The worst, as you said, was fourth. So I'm just happy. As I told you guys, I'm just here to practice before the (indiscernible) start. This was my last race, unfortunately. But I think I did a really good job to be racing. Two podiums I think was really good. No mistakes, no crash. So I'm very happy.

Q. I heard from your team there's a possibility that you tested in Kentucky, that you might possibly end up at Homestead.
FELIPE GUIMARAES: Well, we don't know yet. To be honest with you, I'd like to try an oval courses. I went to Kentucky and I saw was really fun racing, was really competitive, and I was really excited in that racing. So I would like to try. We will see.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Felipe and James.



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