Marco Andretti arrived at Lime Rock Park and back in the American Le Mans Series on Saturday morning, just hours after arriving Friday night from Nashville and qualifying for the IndyCar Series. Andretti will drive Andretti Green Racing’s Acura ARX-01b with Franck Montagny and was third-fastest overall (second in LMP2) in Saturday morning’s 25-minute warm-up. After starting from the rear of the field this afternoon and following his first stint, Andretti will fly back to Nashville for tonight’s IndyCar race. He spoke on the experience Saturday morning.
Doing the double: “It would be tougher if you were going back and forth from two different road courses. This car drives differently than an Indy car on a road course. You have to switch your brain in a different mode when you go back to Nashville. The Acura has traction control, a couple of more assists and a lot more downforce so it would be easier to drive in the corners. It takes a couple of laps to adjust to the style of driving. This is the way to do it if you’re going to do it.
On Lime Rock: “It’s definitely tough to pass. It’s not great for us today because we have to start in the back. But we’ll be looking to march forward. There are places we can get by. I think we should be able to get through pretty quickly. If you catch the slower cars in the wrong spot, there’s nothing you can do but sit behind them. We’ll be looking to be as quick as we can. We obviously have the pace. If we can get up front I think we can stay there.
“This is where I won my first car race in Skip Barber. It’s a very special place and basically in my backyard. It’s two-and-a-half hours from Nazareth, Pa. There has been a lot of seat time around the traditional lap here. Obviously they have slowed it down which could give you more opportunities to pass.”
More Series races: “We haven’t spoken about it. We’ll see how I cope with it this weekend. It’s going to be very difficult. I’m sweating already and it’s only just the warm-up. We still have two races to go.”
Lime Rock’s new configuration: “For passing and what we’re trying to do, it’s good. For pure driving, I’d like the faster, sweeping corners. But that’s a lot more dangerous and I wouldn’t want o race it. They did what they needed to do.”
F1 ambitions: “It is different now. It’s all about timing. It is there in my mind. But you don’t want to go there in the wrong situation as you saw with dad’s career. I’m not sure a door is going to open unless I go over there and learn the circuits. You can go over there with a bad team in GP2 and you’ll still never make it. I doubt Ferrari will want me if I win Kentucky in the IRL. That’s just the way it is right now.”
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