Barber IndyCar pre-race quotes JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY.COM ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, POINTS LEADER (ONE 2013 WIN): "I’m looking forward to getting back to Barber. Obviously for us the open test went pretty well and the race last year went pretty well so there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic and certainly riding a bit of a high form (the St. Pete win) two weeks ago. So we’ll see, it’s definitely going to be a long, physical race with the faster times we saw at the test there – it was definitely taking a toll on the drivers so we’ll see how everybody holds up over the distance. Definitely doing a lot of neck work since the test so hopefully that holds up. Other than that just looking forward to another strong race and hopefully putting the GoDaddy Chevy back up front."
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 AAA INSURANCE TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 2ND IN STANDINGS: "It was great to start the season with a podium finish and I feel confident we can carry the momentum into Barber this weekend with the No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet. The high speed corners and elevation changes make this one of my favorite tracks to race on and hopefully we can repeat the success from last year."
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, 3rd IN STANDINGS: "I’m really looking forward to keeping the momentum going after St. Petersburg. I think we know how to execute our plan well at Barber and we have high expectations for this weekend. In the past this is a place where I have performed really well, and there were a couple of times that I came close to reaching the podium - this would be a great time to have my best finish yet at Barber for the RC Cola Chevy."
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 HYDROXYCUT KV RACING TECHNOLOGY SH RACING CHEVROLET, 4TH IN STANDINGS: "I'm excited to go back to Barber after the productive open test that KV conducted there a just a few weeks ago. It's always good to have a fresh test on the books before you go racing and Barber is one of the few places we go where we have the opportunity to test and race in a short period of time."
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, 6TH IN STANDINGS:
I’m excited to be racing this weekend at Barber. We had a really good result in St. Pete and a good test at Barber just a few weeks ago, and I think we can build on those to have a great race. The team has worked really hard and with all the data we have from the test I think we’ve got a good shot at running up front again. I’m confident that our Chevy engine will help get us another good result.”
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HVM CHEVROLET, 7TH IN STANDINGS: "Heading to Barber, the second race of the year, it’s probably the track I have the most mileage on as we had two test days already. I’m looking forward to this race! I believe we had superb pace from those test days. Between my teammates and I, I think we achieved a pretty good setup on the car during the test, and keeping the momentum that we created during the first race of the year, I think Barber will be a great chance to perform."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, 11TH IN STANDINGS: “Following a frustrating weekend in St Petersburg where we battled braking issues for most of the event and salvaged an 11th place, I hope we have found the solution. I am sure our McAfee – Chevrolet number 7 has the potential to run at the front because that’s why we are here.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 14TH IN STANDINGS: "I am looking forward to getting back to Barber, a place where we've had some success before with the Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. I always have a lot of fun here; it's probably the most G-forces we pull on any road course. Chevy showed in St Pete that they are giving us great engines so our plan is to have good weekend here and start getting closer to the top of the points."
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S PREMIUM VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, 15TH IN STANDINGS: “It felt very good to get back in the race car again at St. Petersburg. The car was getting better during the race, but we suffered a broken front wing. So the car didn’t handle properly in the middle of the race. Finally, we got a new wing and I was able to get up to tenth. Unfortunately, the tires had a lot of laps on them and I couldn’t hold it. So we took home 14th. Better than last year there though. I think our off-season test program, both on and off the track, has really helped us entering the 2013 season. Our engineering staff and the crew members worked very hard in the winter to be ready for the season. So, I’m anxious to get to Barber again. We learned some things in the recent test there too. Barber is a great facility and it will be great to back there.”
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 22 CHARTER PANTHER DRYER & REINBOLD RACING CHEVROLET, 17TH IN STANDINGS: “Barber Motorsports Park is one of the most beautiful facilities fully dedicated to racing in the country. We had a very good test at Barber a couple of weeks ago. Also, we are coming from the first race of the season where we led and showed great pace so we couldn't be more excited to start the weekend. The fans around Birmingham have been very supportive of the IZOD IndyCar Series since day one and I am sure that the super competitive field will give them a great show. I will be driving the green and blue car for Charter, another one of our great sponsors and supporters, and I truly feel we can give them a great weekend."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO 1 DHL ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, 18TH IN STANDINGS: "It’s been a long two weeks since St. Pete! Following the electrical issues we faced in Round 1 of the championship we’re looking to get our season started at Barber for the DHL Chevy. As a team Andretti Autosport had an encouraging open test (at Barber Motorsports Park) in early March so we’ll be looking to pick up where we left off and improve through each session leading into qualifying this weekend."
JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, 19TH IN STANDINGS: “I’m really looking forward to getting back in the No. 4 National Guard Chevy this weekend down at Barber. The track was super-fast at the test we had a few weeks ago, which is what IndyCar racing should be all about. The car ran great during the test and we were really quick at Barber last year in qualifying, so hopefully we can keep that momentum up. I’m pumped to get back down there.”
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 6 TRUECAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, 20TH IN STANDINGS: "We head to Barber after leaving an up and down weekend at St. Pete, but we have a positive mindset knowing we have the speed. We are continuing to work on some things that we have found after a tough test in Barber three weeks ago and I am looking forward to getting #6 True Car Chevrolet up front this weekend.
A.J. ALLMENDINGER, NO. 2 IZODTEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FIRST ENTRY OF SEASON: "I am ready to get started at Barber with the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet. There has been a lot of work to get us to this point, and while we still aren't completely where we need to be, I know after watching the last race that Team Penske and Chevrolet are going to give me a car that can compete. I saw how tough Barber can be at the test and I am excited for the challenge."
Charlie Kimball, on Barber: “I’m really looking forward to getting back to Barber Motorsports Park. We had a pretty successful open test there, made some improvements to the car, and found a good direction. Coming off St. Pete, we were encouraged by the pace and performance of the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car and I know that the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team is ready to take that momentum and build it into a really good result this weekend.”
Takuma Sato on Barber Motorsport Park: “I like the circuit, it has nice flowing high speed corners with good elevation changes. Also a couple of the corners are blind so it is always challenging here. It’s a quite unique and fast track –and it’s beautiful.”
Sato on where to pass: “At any of corners it’s possible to pass if the guy is out of shape, but mostly it’s very difficult because the entry speed is too high and didn’t have much opportunity to go alongside under the braking. But the hairpin is different so that is the most popular and only place to pass under the normal conditions.”
Sato on the track’s museum: “Very impressive. The first time I went there was in 2010--my first year in IndyCar. It was just such an amazing collection! Particularly it is a private collection and the world largest collections of motorcycles. There were also many different types of race cars plus historical things. Some of the collection is runnable which is impressive too. I think it is one of the nicest facilities anywhere, and as a circuit it is a great track.”
Sato on the key to success at Barber: “Need a good car! (laughs) I think it requires a really good balance. You spend a lot of time in cornering because it’s not 90-degree corners like a street course has, there are some long corners that you have to back on power before car pointing straight. So you need to have a good stability on entry but minimize a mid corner under-steer. Average speed is high too so to get good balance for both aero and mechanical is the key.
Sato on the last race at St. Pete: “It was a great way to start the season, especially up through qualifying we showed such a great performance—it was a very exciting moment. Unfortunately the race was a little different scenario. We had a couple of issues to address with but we fought hard to the end and particularly on the last stint we were able to put down a good pace and we were able to overtake some people to gain back some positions. Overall the result is not saying everything. I was happy and very positive about the team’s performance. We definitely are bringing some good momentum.”
Sato on the difference at Barber circuit from 2012 to 2013: “They ground the surface of the track since we raced there which made it a fresher and rough surface which made it grip more. Plus Firestone brought a new 2013 spec tires that also gave you more grip. With the combination of the two factors, we saw nearly three seconds gain – faster than last year. That was very impressive but it also meant we were at a different level of the cornering speed so you need to adjust the setup. I think we had a reasonably good test at Barber. On the test days we had very good track conditions— consistent and cool weather which also contributed to the increase in speed. On race weekend when it will be warmer, I expect the lap times to still be faster than last year even though the track conditions will be different from testing.”
Sato on March 27th private test at Texas Motor Speedway: “It’s good to be back on a speedway. It feels really fast when you jump in the car for the first time. It gets really comfortable quite quickly and we started to move on to the test program. Today temperature-wise it was good conditions but there’s so much gusty wind that it made the car unpredictable – it felt so different from one side of the track to the other. It’s a good exercise to try to achieve stability of the car because in conditions like today, you really need a stable car. With very little running I think we learned as much as we could and we made good improvement so I think it was a productive day.”