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Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series: Brickyard Grand Prix

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  Brickyard Grand Prix

Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series: Brickyard Grand Prix

Jonathan Bomarito
Andrew Davis
Leh Keen
Sylvain Tremblay
July 27, 2012


THE MODERATOR:  We are going to start with our post‑Brickyard Grand Prix interviews and we are joined by the second and third place finishers in the GT class.  First of all, our second place team, drivers No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX‑8, and we are joined by Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito and our third place team, Leh Keen and Andrew Davis.
Thanks for coming in.  Maybe we can just start, a quick opening comment from each of you about the day, the Indianapolis experience and the whole thing.  Sylvain, you want to start us off?
SYLVAIN TREMBLAY:  Pretty special day.  We were hoping to come back the following year, and they said no; and the following year, they said no.  So to be finally here was just pretty special.  We worked‑‑ a whole bunch of work.  Obviously our car here with this massive straightaway is not the best part.
But on the infield, the car really good and just a lot of credit to the engineering team to really put a car that Jonathan was able to put on pole.  We hit something as far as setup‑wise and it really gave us a leg up as far as for a short one or two runs.  But the guys with German cars with the motors in the back were just awesome today, so credit to them.
For us, staying out front and having good pit stops and being able to come in in fourth or fifth and leave first or second is just‑‑ that's what's making this little car do what it does is really the crew, and Jonathan was able to race hard in the end and really get it to P2.  We were P3 side and just a couple of mistakes or traffic or whatever it was from the front, it was tight, it could have been either way from any car.
Just really, really competitive.  Proud to be here at Indy and be sitting here on the podium with my good friend Jonathan.
JONATHAN BOMARITO:  What an up‑and‑down day.  Largely because of the weather; the two big thunderstorms coming through and then the track drying out.  It was very tough on all of the crew, the drivers, pit strategy, everybody.  The 70 cars, the whole SpeedSource team just stayed calm, made the right calls, and it was a lot of fun.
It was hectic out there but it was a lot of fun.  It was getting a little crazy at the end, and I was able to sneak by into second right before that last caution.  We were really good on the restarts and that helped.  But thanks to Leh for racing me clean there at the end and hopefully I did the same to him.
But it was a lot of fun.  It was really tight racing and you know, everybody did a good job out there.  The Porsches were quick this weekend, and our little Mazda showed well at Indy and it was neat to be here.  It's a very good feeling just to say‑‑ this morning I said pole position at Indy and that gave me the chills.  And now to be on the podium here again is definitely memorable.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll go to our third place GT team.  Leh, you're first.  Tell us about the day.
LEH KEEN:  Pretty hectic day.  Pretty busy day.  Actually I missed the two‑day test that we had a couple of weeks ago and Andrew did all the work.  I think it was pretty warm that weekend, so I've got to thank him for that.
We came off the truck pretty well, pretty good but not quite where we want to be.  Took a couple of swings at it and Andrew did a great job in qualifying.  We knew we were going to run strong.  We've had a great car the past couple of races, just have not been able to get the result, so really feels good to be on podium here at Indy, such an historical track and of course such an historical team in racing.
Pretty wild there at the end.  Just unbelievable.  The racing that this track was creating there at the end.  Definitely happy with the podium and I feel like we got off to a great start earlier this season and now we are back on podium.
So still looking for that win.  Feels good.
ANDREW DAVIS:  First off, as an American driver, to be running at Indianapolis and now to be up here on the podium at the press conference means a tremendous amount.  So it's obviously a dream come true.  And to do it in the Brumus No. 59 Porsche is another dream come true.
As far as the day went, these one‑day schedules are super tough on us.  But the teams that are most prepared are the ones that you'll find here in these press conferences.  We are proud to be here.
We felt like we missed a little bit in qualifying and maybe I should have maybe contested for the pole, but just didn't put it together.  Redemption was kind of our main goal at the start of the race.  But quickly, we realized with the weather that it was going to be survival and not going to be the way I was going to bring it back.
It was hectic.  At times I couldn't see anything, and at other times I couldn't see what I saw, and then I could see some stuff that looked all right at times.  Just have to really say thank you to the Brumus racing crew.  This podium is big for us.  It's been several races since we've been back up here, we struggled through the middle part of the season.  So to have our Porsche up here is a really good thing.
It's really exciting and we are excited for the rest of the season, too.  That will be the kick start we need.  Great job to Leh.  He drove exceptionally well at the end, such a hard fight and such a testament to how competitive GT racing is here in the Rolex season.  We were getting ready to make a move for P1, and then ended up P3.  It's just so, so tight.
Advice to you guys, if you want an engine in your back, just drive in reverse.  In fact, that will really help us out.
JONATHAN BOMARITO:  We'll do it next year.
ANDREW DAVIS:  Good job to these guys.  They have been really strong all season long, so great series, great to be here at Indy.  Thanks.

Q.  You had the opportunity to run on the Continental rain tires today.  Curious to know the feedback on how they did on this track.
ANDREW DAVIS:  I quite like the rain tire.  We have been on it a lot this year.  Last year seems like one of those seasons where we didn't race much in the rain.  But this year we have been on it a bunch at a lot of different tracks, and it performs very well.  It does a good job and is stable on the braking and the cornering load is good, as well.  A lot of times, especially the Porsche is very strong in the wet, so we want it to rain.  So it's a good thing.
It was a welcome relief for us because we were struggling for grip in the dry a little bit and we didn't mind that at all.  It performed very well.

Q.  Starting at four o'clock in the afternoon and racing began early this morning, what did you do all day to keep yourself perked up to get ready to go?
SYLVAIN TREMBLAY:  Luckily for him I have multiple jobs and so do most of the team owners, so I was getting the crews in the cars.  So with the practice, had lunch, a couple of meetings, sponsor stuff that we have to do.  We are at Indy, so everyone wanted to come out to the race.  So as many people‑‑ they are excited about it.  And it's exciting for us as a driver that not only the guests but the crews and family and friends I had not seen in a long time; hey I'm here at Indy to watch your race.  So that was pretty special.
I don't mind the one‑day thing.  Even if it's one afternoon, I'll come race for one afternoon here at Indy.
ANDREW DAVIS:  What did you do today, Leh?  Video games to play?  (Laughter).

Q.  Leh, you were one of the first people to get on the Slicks there at the end.  How challenging was that and do you think that was one of the keys to your podium today?
LEH KEEN:  Well, the caution came out there and I think that actually hurt our game plan there.  We went on Slicks early and hoped to get them off, the temperature obviously and then obviously other people would have to come off and then we would make up a huge gap there.  But that didn't happen because of the caution.
Yeah, it took a long time to get them up to temperature.  Still a lot of water puddles and wet spots on the track.  That's one of the things, you know, one of the strategic advantages or disadvantages that you can have is you've got to roll the dice a little bit.
I think in the end it was the right decision for sure and especially with the Porsche engine in the rear, we can get a lot of heat in the rear tires real easy and that's real important for that kind of situation.
THE MODERATOR:  Great effort, great weekend.  Congratulations.

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