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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

Max Angelelli
Scott Pruett
Memo Rojas
Ricky Taylor
July 27, 2012


INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

THE MODERATOR:  We'll start with our Daytona prototype class post‑race interviews for the Brickyard Grand Prix and we are joined first by our third place team, No.10, Sun Trust Racing Corvette DP co‑drivers Max Angelellii and Ricky Taylor.  Maybe we can get an opener from each of you about this historic afternoon.  Ricky, do you want to start us off?
RICKY TAYLOR:  Yeah, it was great to finally come to Indy and actually get to race here.  Just a great day.  I mean, the whole atmosphere and the feeling to be racing at Indy was really special for me.
You know, the race was very rough.  We didn't have much for the 2 car there at the end I think under green conditions.  You know, we are here, and we are not really in the championship right now, so on the restart, we are at Indy, first race with the Corvette, 60th anniversary, had to go for it, and just you know, pushed a little too hard and got on the water there and stood right off‑track.  Great day, really happy, to have a result after the couple of bad races we have been having.  But on to the next one.
MAX ANGELELLI:  I enjoyed my time in the car, it was very exciting and the conditions raining, and then dry and then back raining was very fun to drive.  And our Corvette was fast, very consistent, and now for the results, we finished the race.
THE MODERATOR:  We also have our runner‑up team in today's Brickyard Grand Prix, co‑drivers, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas.  Scott, give us a review of the afternoon.
SCOTT PRUETT:  I think the hat says it all, super weekend, great weekend for us.  TELMEX BMW, we did a few driver changes, it rained and we got a bit of a tore up race car.  But we managed to scratch back and finish second.
So it was a great result and we were hoping to just get a little bit better.  But under the circumstances, we were incredibly pleased with the result.  It was a great race and a crazy race with the rain coming on and off.  And overall, we were proud to be here without a doubt.  It was exciting for the fans.  I know we were coming to the green with ten to go and everybody and all of the fans in the stands were on their feet.  So that's always a good thing to see.
MEMO ROJAS:  This is one of the craziest races we've had this year in a long time.  I think it was a good shot for everybody, because there was a lot of action going from dry to wet and vice versa.
For me it was going pretty good until my last stint where unfortunately, I was stopped by Bourdais a little bit.  He got me on the kick before braking for a turn, I think four or five, and under‑braking, I got a little locked up and unfortunately it was still dry land and damp on the outside and unfortunately slid around to the gravel.
Obviously I don't know you should end up in the same lap with a GT car which made me touch the wall.  Before that we were having a pretty good race.  I think we were pretty fast on the wet.  And I'm really proud of my team because with all‑‑ everybody seemed to be coming to the back to the front and there was a lot of changes in positions but we managed to survive to stay there and finish the race in second and that's the job of my team and by Scott to finish the race.

Q.  Inaudible.
SCOTT PRUETT:  Well, I kept yelling at the car in front of me because the white flag came out under yellow, and I was hoping he might get a little confused and drive down pit lane and he didn't do that.  You know, we'll come back and try and do it again.
I mean, to me, Indy is a very special place, very magical place, and you know, coming here my first year in '89, Rookie of the Year and IndyCars, the number of years we ran so close to winning this race in '95, and just an incredible race on a NASCAR side with Dale Earnhardt, Senior.  We ran all race long and it's a great memory.
So we were hopeful that we could come away from here with a victory, and it was more of a personal achievement for myself.  It would have been great for the team but it was a little selfish coming here because this is one of those places where you always want to win at.  We'll be back next year and see if we can do it again.

Q.  I know you didn't get a lot of time to run on the new compound when the sun was out, but for those of you that did, how did it handle in the race?  Did it work okay for you?
RICKY TAYLOR:  For me, this is the best generation of the Continental tire we've used for, you know, we'd love to use this the rest of the year if we could.
SCOTT PRUETT:  I think it showed the diversity.  It was torrential downpour out there.  It was not just a little bit of rain.  It was heavy rain.  Cars were more like boats a few times.  You know, you couldn't get the car turned, you were just floating across or skidding across either way.  All the way around, we were pleased and it's a difficult thing, because you're talking about a pretty big challenge with ever‑changing conditions and then you get a dry line and it's wet, there's a lot of guys going off, a lot of garbage, you're getting online, going off and you're asking a lot of the tire.  I think all of the competitors here were pretty pleased with the end result.

Q.  Scott, are you going to be like Paul Newman and come out with a salad dressing?
SCOTT PRUETT:  Yeah, I think so.  He raced, what, into his 70s?  81.  So I'm just‑‑ okay, I'm 52, so I've got 30 years left in me.

Q.  You brought it up the other day‑‑
SCOTT PRUETT:  Hey, could we split it?  Was it like a lot of money?

Q.  Scott and Memo, the driver changes didn't look like they went according to plan.
SCOTT PRUETT:  You know, Memo started the race, he was doing an incredible job.  I jumped in and quite frankly just wasn't coming to grips with it.  We were about a half second off and a half second off is a long way.
So I told the guys, we said, Memo is running real strong in the rain and in drying conditions, let's take a look, it might be the best thing for the team to put him back in and continue on.
So that decision was made.  I'm not proud.  I want to do the best thing for the team and whatever we can to get up front, and because we were able to do pits‑‑ when we do our pit stops, we do driver changes quite quickly.  We continually practice that all the time, and felt that that was going to be our best play in this race and it worked out that I got back in at the end.
MEMO ROJAS:  Yeah, same, I was just‑‑ typically when they tell me to get out of the car, typically, unless it's a long race, we typically don't do two drivers changes.  Or you just relax you and just watch the race, the rest of the race like you're watching at home.  Suddenly they start yelling at me, and that was kind of freaky.
SCOTT PRUETT:  That's usually what they do to me all the time.
MEMO ROJAS:  You get used to it.  It was fun.

Q.  Memo, can you talk about what happened with that Camaro up on the banking in the last corner?
MEMO ROJAS:  Yeah, unfortunately, like I said, I got topped on that those first few laps by Bourdais and I got off line on the braking.  It was a drying track and I got off line and I just left the tires on the wet with the slick tires.  Got on the grass, got on the gravel, got a bunch of gravel.  These cars, they just big in and they just get gravel everywhere.
Those rocks were killing me and I don't know where they were coming from.  And when I got to the banking, on the braking at the end of the home straight‑‑ I was passing a lot of GT cars on the outside of turn one.  I passed a bunch, even in the wet, as well, so I was comfortable there.
I was just trying to get back up to speed and unfortunately sometimes you get rocks in the splitter in between, and when we got the big lull in the banking, I even heard the rocks just slid by and it's like walking like stepping on marbles and ice, a big slide up into the wall.  And unfortunately I rubbed the wall and the GT car was right next to me and I couldn't avoid it.
It was a shame, it wasn't intentional obviously, but it's one of those things.

Q.  Did the car handle any differently when you got back in it?
SCOTT PRUETT:  Yes, it did.  The steering wheel was a big turn but we just made the most of.  It looking at the car it looks pretty beat up, there's a couple of holes in the front, the side and the back, and fortunately we were able to take it on and finish.  And even better that we were able to finish second.  You know, it's just one of those things, you can never give up and even when it's not handling very good, but hopefully it's handling just a little bit better than everybody else's.

Q.  Max and Ricky, do you feel like the monkey is coming off your back with the luck you've had this season?
RICKY TAYLOR:  Yeah, it's nice, especially, you know, for me and the mistakes I've made this year, kind of letting the team down a couple of times, it's really hard on me.  You know, to have a good race and kind of real solid day really, was nice.  I think I'm sorry to say it wasn't all bad luck.  I think a lot of it was down to me, but yeah, it's nice to get over that.  I think the team is excited.  We are back where we should be.  And obviously we are thinking of Mark and the whole family, we lost a good friend over the break.  I know he was there with us today.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, guys, great effort today.



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