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Firestone Indy Lights: Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

Firestone Indy Lights: Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

Carlos Munoz
Oliver Webb
Gustavo Yacaman
June 2, 2012


DETROIT, MICHIGAN

THE MODERATOR:  We'll go ahead and get started with today's post-race press conference.  We are joined by two of our podium finishers, Carlos Munoz.  Carlos, you had a fifth, then two consecutive finishes.  Talk about today's race, learning the car and the style of racing. 
CARLOS MUNOZ:  Yeah, from the beginning of the weekend was really strange weekend.  Was rain in the first three practice.  The practice was lots of yellow flags.  Was first time here on the circuit, so couldn't do a lot of laps.  Also had mechanical problems in the beginning.  Disturbed the qualifying.  Then was red flags and yellow flags. 
I was not happy after the first qualifying.  At the end, I didn't know how fast I were.  In the race in the beginning, I was okay.  Lap by lap, the car was pretty good in the end.  Then I felt pretty strong.  I could overtake Oliver and push with Gustavo. 
I am really happy, second podium in these last two races, with two outs.  I hope to be in this and fight for the championship. 
THE MODERATOR:  We've been joined by our third-place finisher, Oliver Webb. 
Ollie, talk about today's race. 
OLIVER WEBB:  Yeah, we started from pole, so we had a good starting position.  We got a good start.  We started putting in some good lap times, but under constant pressure from my teammate Victor.  We kind of stayed there the first 15, 16, 17 laps, then the yellow flag came out. 
We got a good restart.  Managed to pull a good gap even by the green flag, put in a few good laps.  Unfortunately, the corners where I was slow, were the four, five, six complex going onto their back straight.  That's really the main passing opportunity.  That cost us. 
We were going in 13 and 14, last two corners.  The first two corners, high speed, the car was really good.  I think we've got something to work on and we'll have a look at our data and go from there. 
THE MODERATOR:  We've been joined by our race winner, Gustavo Yacaman. 
Clearly a huge comeback today after an incident with the curb in qualifying.  Talk about the whole process today. 
GUSTAVO YACAMAN:  Well, at the beginning, didn't get quite a good start.  I was a little cautious at the beginning.  I wanted to settle in.  I knew I had a really good car.  Didn't know it was going to be that good. 
But then I just started passing everyone one by one, one by one.  The car was just insanely good.  It was doing things I couldn't believe it was doing.  This track is very, very fast.  We just got the right setup.  We nailed it. 
The race was definitely a lot of fun, coming from the back.  People were saying, Hey, it's impossible to pass around here.  But I think I showed a couple new passing places. 
I just had a lot of fun.  I want to thank my team especially.  After we crashed in qualifying, we took the car apart, had to build it back up again, get the setup back on.  We weren't short in time, but we definitely didn't have any time to spare.  They just did an amazing job at getting things down, putting their heads down, getting to work, giving me a race-winning car. 
THE MODERATOR:  We'll open it up for questions. 

Q.  Gustavo, could you talk us through the pass for the win.  Oliver, from your perspective, were you expecting the pass there? 
GUSTAVO YACAMAN:  Well, I don't know what turn is what.  But coming to the back straight, I think I got a good run on Ollie.  He did pretty good staying down.  I just went on the outside because if I hadn't have gone on the outside, I would have just crashed into him.  I basically went on the outside to avoid him. 
At the same time he stayed inside, I went to the outside, I had a better run coming out of the corner.  I think he struggled a little bit with traction and I was able to do a switch back, whatever you call it, coming out of that turn.  Out-braked him going into the next turn on the outside. 
It's just to show how good my car was.  It was just unbelievable.  Again, I need to thank my guys for giving me such a good car. 

Q.  Gustavo, can you talk about the track, how it affects your strategy. 
GUSTAVO YACAMAN:  It's a really, really tough track because it's a very, very fast track, but at the same time a very bumpy street course.  Although most of the apexes are open, like you can see through them, there's not a wall on the apex, those curves are just untouchable. 
That's what threw me off in qualifying.  I got to one of those curbs, didn't destroy the car, but destroyed the balance, did something completely -- something I wasn't expecting, put me in the wall.  Those curves are just as dangerous as a wall. 
At the same time some exits are off-camber.  You just lose a lot of traction.  There's a lot of pavement changes, which the car was bottoming a lot.  It's a very, very nice set of corners, a lot of fast stuff.  Complex one, two, three are so fast, you can't even believe so fast it is. 
It's just a great racetrack.  I'm really, really happy that IndyCar came back here.  I hope we're here for a long time. 
THE MODERATOR:  Gentlemen, congratulations on another great race.  Best of luck as we head into Milwaukee. 



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