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IZOD IndyCar Series: Honda Indy Toronto

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Honda Indy Toronto

IZOD IndyCar Series: Honda Indy Toronto

Marco Andretti
Sebastien Bourdais
Dario Franchitti
July 13, 2013


TORONTO, ONTARIO

THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and get started with today's post race press conference. We're pleased to be joined by Marco Andretti, who finished third.
Marco, a career best here at Toronto. Talk about today's race.
MARCO ANDRETTI: Just hung in there, honestly. I mean, I lost my strong suit today. I could not get up on cold tires. I think that really hurt me in the second stint. Then got together with a couple of guys, Hinch one of them, got shuffled way back. Lost a ton of ground there.
But we just kept our head down and hammered. The third stint I guess made up most of our time, stayed out of trouble. Had some decent pace at the end of the stint, which I think is where we were making up some time.
It's an attrition race, try to minimize mistakes. So that helped as well.
Tomorrow I better come ready. I start like 18th. Definitely got my work cut out tomorrow, but we can do the same thing tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions for Marco.

Q. Where were you when you found out you were third?
MARCO ANDRETTI: I was debriefing, doing a track map, diagnosing the car today. I was just in my transport.

Q. Did you need to see a replay?
MARCO ANDRETTI: I didn't need to see a replay. It happened right in front of me. It could go either way. I don't want to be the one to comment. But if it moves me to third, that was definitely a block (laughter).

Q. Does that mean your crew guys got to dump champagne on you in your transport?
MARCO ANDRETTI: Yeah, I know. I want some hardware. That's a bummer.
THE MODERATOR: We're also now joined by Dario Franchitti.
MARCO ANDRETTI: It was a definite block (laughter).
THE MODERATOR: Talk about the race today.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: The big thing is this bullshit at the end, quite honestly. Of all the stuff that went on all day, anybody I raced against would protect the inside, the person trying to pass would go to the outside. I made my intentions clear very early. I went to the inside.
He wanted to go on the inside, so he was going to shoot his way in there. I brake late. My car is dancing around. Bounced off the wall, bounced off of me, proceeded to keep the thing locked up and head into the tires.
I don't see how that has anything to do with me really. I was defending the inside, I gave him the outside, as is my right, and that was it.
If we can and if it's allowed, we're going to protest the call just to find out, at the very least, how this decision was made. It will be very interesting to know how they make decisions up there sometimes. I think it involves a dice and a blindfold.
THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by Sebastien Bourdais.
Talk about the race, Sebastien.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Well, obviously for us it feels like a win today. We fought hard all day, took the lead. I think we started on primes and I think it was the wrong thing to do because everybody else was on options. Maybe we're not so smart in the end. It turned out to be the right thing to do, only to turn out not be the right thing to do at the end.
I think the temperature rise tipped the reds over the edge. It was the perfect tire for most of the weekend, so far the whole weekend, and it changed during the race.
A little surprised. But just super happy for the crew. I couldn't be any happier to finally get on that podium. Dixie was just the class of the field. I tried everything I could to hold him off, but there was nothing I could do. I passed him again, had the restart, green flag, I just went, he just braked, and that was that.
After that, he was just superior. Hats off. He was really fast today. Some interesting fights with Dario, but it was always fair. Like he said, you know, you couldn't go all the way to the wall because there was so much marbles. There was no room for a car on the inside, it was pretty clear.
I haven't seen what happened, but I can see where the frustration is coming from. I've been there with Will, I think, this year. That was this year, right?
So, yeah, just really happy for the whole team. It was a great day. Toronto has been the turnaround of our season for the last two seasons. We needed it. Hopefully we can carry on the momentum for the rest of the season and score big and finish the season like this.
THE MODERATOR: We'll continue with questions.

Q. Dario, first you.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Good.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: You can get yourself on probation for saying things.

Q. When did they tell you exactly you were penalized? What was your reaction? In my opinion, Sato in Brazil was very blatant blocking, no penalty. So what would you say now?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: There wasn't any blocking. Basically you can't make a move in reaction to another car. I didn't make a move in reaction to another car. I'd gone to the inside.
The car moved when I was on the brakes. I was trying to stop the thing. When he hit me it moved as well. So, yeah. The rule has changed. At one point we had to leave a car width plus an inch I think it was. None of us have our measuring tapes, so we decided you could go all the way to that wall and defend, which I did.
There's so much marbles, I pulled the thing out there. Anyway, they told me just before the champagne thing. I had to find out at some point, didn't I? As I said, if we can, we will protest.

Q. What was your reaction?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Just shook my head.

Q. Sebastien, what happened to your trophy?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: He gave me the pedestal and the trophy. The trophy happened to not be attached to the pedestal.
I got plenty of trophies. It's not what makes your day. What makes your day is to have a day like this, make the result, put that TRUECar/McAfee at the front. We were hoping for that a long time ago, never quite got the break. Today we drove well, fought hard, got the result in the end.

Q. In IndyCar and Champ Car, this is your first podium since 2007. That's a little bit of a drought. What are your emotions like?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: That's an understatement.
Yeah, it was very emotional. It's not because of the top contenders dropped out or anything. We earned that second-place spot. We were the fast car. We fought with them all day. We stayed there. None of them had carnage or anything. We just happened to be fast and be able to fight with these guys.
When you have a day like this, you finish between two Ganassi cars, I guess you did pretty good.

Q. Sebastien, do you think you used your 'push to pass' a little too much so when Scott got by you you didn't have any left?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: That would not have changed anything. They were more trimmed out than we were. They were a heck of a lot faster down the straightaway.
You know, he was going to pass me at some point. The pressure he was putting, he was going to be there because he could put this car wherever he wanted. He was just faster. Whenever he passed me, you could tell, See you, bye-bye. That was it.
That's the way racing should be. The faster car should win, and the faster car won. Nothing wrong with that.

Q. Marco, you gained some ground on the points leader today. How valuable was that after Pocono?
MARCO ANDRETTI: Yeah, actually funny enough, I'm second in the street course points, which definitely makes me feel good after my progress through the off-season, definitely after how I was last year on them.
So, you know, it's good to know that my hard work is paying off. But, yeah, I mean, the overall big picture, we're actually fourth in points. But we closed to the leader, just a little bit, not enough. Helio was just a couple behind me.

Q. Marco, you had a relatively quiet day. Is that what you're trying for nowadays?
MARCO ANDRETTI: You should watch my on-board (laughter).
I think my teammate and I touched, Hinch, me and Helio touched. It's never really a quiet day at Toronto or any street course.
We knew it was going to come down to attrition. We knew we had to keep hammering no matter how bad sometimes it even felt. Relative to our competitors, we were all right at the end of the stint. You just hang in there and keep pushing. That's all you can do.

Q. Dario, the penalty that was assessed against you, do you think Beaux Barfield would have done the same thing?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I don't know. I mean, the penalty, it doesn't help to think like that. I think the penalty was wrong, regardless of who assessed it. As I understand it, there's a team of guys up there in race control making decisions.
Yeah, as I said, we'll see what their explanation is. It will be interesting.

Q. Dario, what happened with your tires at the beginning of the race?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: We just used them a little too hard. Just a little too heavy on the tires with the setup we ran. Just a little different than Scott's. It was using specifically the Firestone reds a little harder than we would have liked. Going to look at that for tomorrow.

Q. Any disappointment in the fact the much hyped standing start was aborted?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: I was relieved.

Q. Why?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: We didn't get any practice really. Personally, I don't understand why you have (indiscernible) after race one. If you don't have it for race one, you don't need it for race two.
We should have much more opportunities to practice this. I was a little shaky on the grid. When I saw the yellow flag waving, I was like, Yes, thank you.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Me, too.
MARCO ANDRETTI: I could go either way. Because I ended up where I did, I'm not against what we did today.
Honestly, I can go either way. If the fans really like it, then it's fine. But, you know, as long as it's bringing more viewers, I don't care.

Q. The social media reaction, the fans were pretty disappointed.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: They would be, yes.

Q. Would you be opposed to doing it tomorrow if IndyCar wanted to do it?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: They're probably going to do it. Doesn't matter what we think.
MARCO ANDRETTI: It matters what the fans want at this point, I think.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Rolling starts have been fine. That's kind of what IndyCar has been known for. To reinvent the wheel is kind of odd. It's been a real mess to try to figure it all out. The meetings were long, yeah, it seemed a lot of hassle for something that wasn't that big a deal.

Q. Dario, was there anything said in the drivers meeting about the nature of the back straights, that you can run a similar line to what you did at Brazil, or straight line it?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: The biggest thing was you cannot make a reactionary move. It's got to be preemptive. After the kink, bridge, that's exactly what I did. It's a lot straighter than Brazil. So, yeah. You got one guy in Brazil who is going from right to left, driving guys into the wall, doesn't get penalized. I keep a straight line to the inside and get penalized. So, yeah, interesting.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: You guys have to understand that Brian was running the show today. He told us in the meeting it was fine to pick your side, you didn't have to leave a car width. He ran the show different. That's why I've been able to defend on Scott and Dario could defend on me. We ran the race like this all day.
I haven't seen the incident, but that's what we were told and that's what we did.

Q. Different from Beaux?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Yeah. Beaux we had to leave a car width and a little bit.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Didn't that change, though?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: It changed in Brazil, for sure, yeah (laughter).
The thing is for me it should be applicable and needs to be policed.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Enforced consistently.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: When you make the rules complicated, it makes it harder to make the right calls. This is the way it's always been the way it was before when Brian was running the show, and I thought it was fair.

Q. Talk to me a little bit about 20 laps in, before Sebastien passed you in turn five, you no longer needed to have two wheels on the racetrack.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: It's been like this since they removed the tires basically.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Whatever they allow you to do, you're going to maximize it, aren't you? You're going to brush the wall, drive across as much as you can. I think at all times I did have two wheels on the surface, but it was pretty close in a couple places. They said to be a little more cautious. Then they said, Okay, you can go back to what you were doing before.

Q. Looked like you were taking off-road trucks over the top sometimes.
MARCO ANDRETTI: You don't really gain though, because you have to land that sucker, too (laughter).
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: The marbles build off the curb. It becomes a problem. I asked them to put the tires back so there would be a limit to the racetrack. Nothing happened so I started doing it. Then when I tried to pass Dario, we crossed a couple of times, then I felt like I had a shot, and I really tried to bail out of it because otherwise I was going to run into him. Just happened to make it stick.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: It was a good move.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Then I was glad that the tires were new.

Q. Sebastien, I think it was the next to last restart when you were behind Dario, there was some controversy that you may have jumped the start.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: I was second at that stage, next to Scottie. Like I said, Jay called the green and I saw it move, I just went. At that stage he brake because he saw I was getting a run. He basically tried to get it aborted and we were gone.
Pretty much the same deal as Baltimore with both Ryans. You got to go. I mean, once you start accelerating, you can't back off. If you back off, you get swallowed up by the pack. I didn't want to see a repeat of last year, that's for sure, so I just went.
THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you for your time today. We'll get to do it all again tomorrow.



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