Champ Car European Adventure Day 3
It’s Day 3 in Europe and though a light rain is falling at Circuit Zolder, spirits are still high. Champ Car drivers are spread across the Continent promoting both events and below is just a sampling of the coverage they are generating in Europe.
HITTING THE BRITISH AIRWAVES
In London on Tuesday, the dastardly duo of Justin Wilson and Katherine Legge stopped in for a chat with Globecast Radio’s John Hindhaugh, host of the weekly Midweek Motorsports show, which runs every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. U.K. time (those not in the U.K. can listen on the web at www.0157.org ). “The weather’s just the same when we left it here,” Wilson quipped at the beginning of the show.
“I really love the variety of Champ Car,” Legge explained when asked to discuss the difference between Champ Car and Formula One. “Different courses, different challenges. Plus, it’s fun.” Added Wilson: “I’d say it’s more relaxed. Yes, it’s serious racing, but it’s more open, relaxed, the fans get to be close to the drivers and racing.”
Both Brits said that they were looking forward to the two races in Europe, and endorsed the concept of the Phanos Resorts European Team Cup, modeled after the Canadian Triple Crown introduced this summer (Wilson and teammate Alex Tagliani finished third).
“Europe’s where it all started for me, where I grew up on the road courses here,” said Legge, who admitted that her season to date has been disappointing. “Hopefully, coming home will be the turning point for me, and I can try to look positively to doing better next year.”
When the topic turned to who would move into Sebastien Bourdais’ seat next year, Legge said she wasn’t a candidate because she was planning to be Lewis Hamilton’s teammate instead. “I’d like to stay in Champ Car because I still have a point to prove here,” she said when the conversation about her future turned serious again. “It’s a great Series, and adding Europe was a great move. We’re getting stronger every year.
ON THE BBC
The Brits continued their assault on the British airwaves, next appearing on BBC London Tuesday night when the BBC’s radio Formula 1 commentator David Croft interviewed Katherine Legge and Justin Wilson plus Champ Car’s Executive VP of Strategic Development & Communications, David Higdon.
Croft also caught up with Minardi Team USA owner Paul Stoddart – giving BBC listeners an interesting insight into the differences between running a car in the Champ Car World Series and Formula 1.
Segments of both interviews will be replayed on Radio Five Live – the BBC’s national radio sports network later this week.
Croft quizzed Legge and Wilson on the physical challenges of driving in the Champ Car World Series.
“I did a test for Paul Stoddart in Formula One after a year of doing Atlantics and thought ‘this isn’t too hard’,” Legge said.
“When I first did eight laps in a Champ Car I thought wow – this is tough. Bumpy tracks, no power steering, I quickly realized I had to work really hard on my fitness.”
With a Formula One season under his belt for Minardi and Jaguar, Wilson is also well placed to judge the physical differences.
“Apart from the physical G-forces on your neck in F1, Champ Cars are definitely tougher to drive. The arm strength required is a lot more,” Wilson said.
“After a race in Champ Car, your arms, chest, back, legs, everything aches – especially on a bumpy street course.”
Both Brits face a another busy day today with a Television commitment on Sky TV’s World Motorsport followed by interviews and lunch with the editorial team from Autosport and Motorsport News magazines. BBC
Robert Doornbos Coverage
Robert Doornbos has been really busy promoting Champ Car’s European Swing as the following outlets have published stories today about Robert and Champ Car. Dagblad van het Noorden, Nieuwsbank (abonnement), RTV Drenthe, Dagblad van het Noorden, Nieuwsblad Transport, Evenement Nieuws, Dagblad van het Noorden and many more have done stories today, though the text is in Dutch it is clear there is strong support in Holland for Champ Car.