Ganassi's Mike Hull discusses return to Long Beach
Q. What are your thoughts on Target Chip Ganassi Racing returning to Long Beach in a unified series?
MIKE HULL Long Beach is a major Southern California sports-branded equity event – the fan loyalty for motor racing started in 1975, and has grown from F5000 which had American and International drivers, F1 with the same, CART, Champ Car, and now the Indy Racing League.
Long Beach has represented major motor racing to the world, and Indy Car can provide the California fan base with the same excitement as Redman, Hunt, Zanardi, Vasser, or Bourdais have done with the natural transition.
Q. Drivers like Al Unser Jr. (6) Mario Andretti (4), Paul Tracy and Sebastien Bourdais (3) all won here multiple times…what did those guys have figured out?
MIKE HULL Champions win big races – they are up for the events, and their teams commit to give them the best. When they won, they beat the best.
Q. What are your favorite memories of Long Beach, especially given the fact TCGR won the race four times (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999), and that every time a TCGR driver that won the GPLB they went on to win the championship?
MIKE HULL For me, when Jimmy Vasser won in ’96 due to the fact that Long Beach was a massive event to win, and it showcased TCGR and Vasser to the world. TCGR was ready to win and that was big for us as a Team of people. It validated us as a group, and motivated every person in our organization. The next would be how Zanardi won, being a lap down – if you witnessed it, you couldn’t explain it, except to say: “only Zanardi.”