Firestone Indy Lights: Grand Prix of Toronto
Topics: Grand Prix of Toronto
July 13, 2013
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by our podium finishers from today's Firestone Indy Lights Toronto 100.
We have Peter Dempsey, who finished second. His third consecutive top four here at Toronto and his second second-place finish here as well; and Gabby Chaves, his sixth podium finish of the season.
Peter, talk about today's race and the pass in turn five.
PETER DEMPSEY: Yeah, obviously coming in from qualifying, I already knew it was going to be a tough race, knew I was going to have to put a lot on the line the first lap. We went from seventh to third the first lap out.
Got a good go at Gabby early in the race, but could never really get a good run on him. He was getting good exits and really settled in. Didn't want to hassle him too much unless I could catch Jack there mid race, and we were certainly catching him, I felt. He was backing up a little bit to us.
Unfortunately, Gabby lost second gear and that was the end of us having a chance to win the race. But a very good race with Gabby. We raced clean, did a great pass in turn five on him. Thankfully left me enough room. I was using a lot of curb there already, so I knew what was going to happen when I went up over it. It was a good, clean pass.
To bring it home the car in second place with all the work from qualifying to the race in a short space of time is a fantastic result. Huge thanks to my team, all my crew, my engineer, and also Firestone. We had no yellows the whole race, and the tires lasted really well.
THE MODERATOR: Gabby, another podium finish for you this season. A very consistent season so far. Talk about today's race.
GABBY CHAVES: Yeah, I mean, so far it's been a good season. We've had a few opportunities that have been taken away from us at the very end to win. We just got to keep working. We're almost there.
I try to think of it it's not if, it's just when. Today was a great race. Felt like we had an awesome car, especially from the middle to the end of the race. Unfortunately we lost second gear and we couldn't do anything about it. I tried getting Peter behind me, keeping him behind. But coming off the corners, so tight, there's no grip. Losing the acceleration you get in second gear, couldn't do anything.
Once I saw Peter had the inside, I left him enough room. Good battle, but not enough to crash and leave us both out.
I gave it 110%. Couldn't do anything else.
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Jack Hawksworth. It's his second win of the season, and his fourth podium finish of the season. He's fourth in the championship standings, 43 points out of first.
Jack, talk about today's race.
JACK HAWKSWORTH: First of all, it was a great weekend from start to finish. Rolled off the truck really fast. Quick in both practices, qualifying.
Then in the race today, we didn't quite have the pace we had earlier on in the weekend today in the race, especially earlier on. Gabby was quick. We had to manage the gap more than I thought we were going to have to.
At the end of the race, the tires stayed in fine. I was able to pull out a gap, and that was great. Yeah, just a fantastic race from start to finish. It was just great. I don't know what else to say. It was a perfect weekend.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions for our drivers.
Q. Gabby, talk about losing second gear.
GABBY CHAVES: If I could have felt it coming on, I probably would have dealt with it much better than I did. I went in for the braking in turn three, went down to second, and I felt no deceleration from the engine. I knew something was wrong.
I locked up. When you're braking on the limit, you don't have the deceleration from second gear, you miss your apex just by a little bit, you get offline, you lose more than you would at any other track.
After that I tried to gather myself back up, tried to keep my mind under control, because at that time you're thinking, Oh, gosh, you still have about 12 laps to go. You don't know how much longer the car is going to hang on. You don't know when you're going to lose third, fourth, any of the other gears.
Tried to keep myself together and keep Peter behind. There was just nothing I could do to keep him behind me coming off the corners. He got a good run off three. I didn't see it worth it to maybe take a chance to get us both in the wall. Keep the points streak going and hopefully pick up a win soon.
Q. Peter, tell me about the world rally stage move you made down at five. Brilliant move. But how close was that and how in control was it? A bit of undulation there.
PETER DEMPSEY: Really, I knew I had a shot there at turn five. In 2011 here, had a great race with Josef Newgarden. Especially with Gabby not having second gear out there, it was really difficult for him, if he got in there a little bit offline. Thankful he did, gave me a shot. I knew I wasn't going to get too many shots at him, especially with not too many laps to go.
Fortunately, my car was really good over the curb at turn five all race. They weren't able to take it as much as I could. I knew the car was going to be pretty steady over it. Thankfully he gave me enough racing room where we didn't make contact and it came off a clean move.
Q. Gabby, knowing that you were dealing with a mechanical limitation, that kind of maturity isn't something we always see in the training formulas. Was that something that became an obvious choice for you to make?
GABBY CHAVES: I mean, you know, once I knew I lost second gear, I thought, Okay, let's see what kind of lap times I will run just using third gear. Thankfully I didn't lose too much. I lost 7/10ths to a full second a lap. It's a great deal. When you're fighting for such time, it's a lot of time to lose.
Thankfully we had a big gap back to Carlos and he wasn't able to catch back up to me. Definitely when I lost it the first lap or two, I almost lost myself. Everything else becomes so much harder. You have to start braking earlier, start adjusting everything. Everything becomes different. You start becoming mentally tired because you're dealing with so much stuff.
Everything that you've been doing all weekend that seems natural, all of a sudden you have to do it mentally. Going into a corner, you're counting down your downshifts. Everything just comes harder.
But I say I've got a few years of experience, so I can definitely pick up the pieces and just put it back together and hold on to the third place.
Q. Jack, what does it mean to put together a perfect weekend like this? I know it was tough at Long Beach, bad stretch for a while. What does this mean for the rest of the year?
JACK HAWKSWORTH: It's great. It's an indication of all the work we've put in, myself, the team, Jeff, as well. Every race has been really tough since Long Beach. It's never happened, for one reason or another we've never been good enough. We just kept getting up after every weekend, brushing ourselves off, working on the next race. Time and time again we've come away with a result we didn't feel we deserved for the effort we put in.
This weekend finally turned around. It's a massive indication. Really proud of everybody involved, proud of myself, proud of my team, so it's good.
Q. With Carlos and Sage finishing behind all three of you, do you think you still have a chance in the championship? What is it going to take?
JACK HAWKSWORTH: I mean, I said after Indy that I still thought I could win this thing. I don't see any reason why not. We just have to go out and win the next four races, five races, win as many as there will be left and hopefully that will be enough.
THE MODERATOR: We'll wrap things up. Thank you for your time today. Congratulations for the podium.
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