Q&A with Roldan Rodriguez The wait is almost over for Joey Logano. The Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series heads to the streets of Spain’s third largest city for the eighth round of the 2008 GP2 Series.
The new Valencia street course, located in the port area of the city, will be a step into the unknown for most of the GP2 Series field, although some GP2 drivers had the opportunity to drive at the new track in late July in F3 and GT races.
FMS International driver Roldan Rodriguez is looking forward to his return to the Valencia circuit and answers the following questions.
How are you enjoying your second season in the GP2 Series?
I always enjoy it when I am racing but I enjoy it more when the results come. Until now we have struggled a little bit with the results, but I think that in the future we can get more points.
How are you finding this year’s GP2/08 car?
It is quite different to the old car. It is better in faster stints, better in braking and it is more balanced. It’s more like Formula One and I think they did well to make it closer to Formula One.
How will you prepare for racing in GP2 at a new street course like Valencia?
I have had to do it a lot because last year I didn’t know many tracks in GP2. So it’s not the first time I will race in GP2 at a track which I have no experience with the GP2 car. You have to see the circuit map and try to see more or less the difficult corners and easier corners, but then until you are racing there you really don’t know, for example, where the braking points are. I am lucky to have raced a GT2 Ferrari 430GT there a few weeks ago, so I now have a basic understanding of the circuit. However, for my first visit there with GP2 I think it will be very important to do the full 30 minutes of free practice, not to lose any time and to do as many laps as we can.
What are the differences in set-up for a street circuit?
As a street circuit, Monte Carlo is very bumpy with corners with a lot of camber so the set-up has to be very soft to not lose tire performance. For Valencia, things will be quite different as it is new and bigger. It will be more or less like a normal track for GP2 but in the city. So the set-up I think will not be like Monte Carlo but more like a normal track, like Magny Cours.
What do you think will be the secret of maximizing tire performance in Valencia?
The secret is always the same, to push more than the other drivers, try and brake later than the others and accelerate before them.
Do you work closely with the Bridgestone engineers in GP2 and how do they help you?
We get all of the information from them on the tires that we need. We also provide Bridgestone with all the information they ask for about how the tires were in the sessions, performance and oversteer. We work very closely with the Bridgestone engineers. Source: Bridgestone