Bryan Herta and Ryan Briscoe
Jan. 19, 2005
THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining
us. We're joined by Bryan Herta from Andretti Green Racing and
Ryan Briscoe from Target Chip Ganassi.
Bryan, let's start with you. Tell us about your day.
BRYAN HERTA: I'm still smiling. It wasn't laps as I would have
liked, but still felt great to get on the road course. The car
worked really well. I think there's still some things we'd like
to improve on the car, but it's early days, and it just felt
good to turn right again.
Q. From your road course experience, obviously this being the
first official IndyCar Series road test, what do you think about
the IndyCar Series cars on the road course?
BRYAN HERTA: I have to say I was pretty surprised in a good way.
Dario (Franchitti) had already tested and had told me the car
was nice and fun to drive. I have to say that it was a lot more
nimble, and the brakes were a lot better than I thought they'd
be. I think there's still, like I said, a lot of improvement
that's going to come as we learn about the car, too. I know
there's more speed in the package.
Q. Ryan, tell us about your first official day in an IndyCar
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, I had a good day. With the team, we got
through our full program. We tested a lot of stuff on the car.
You know, it was really going quite well. It's a great way to be
here. It's a great way to start the season. It doesn't really
mean much. But it means we are looking good to start with.
Q. Same question I asked Bryan in terms of the IndyCar Series
car and its abilities on the road course compared to what you've
done the last couple years. How did the car react, did you
RYAN BRISCOE: It's quite good actually. I mean, for a car that's
never raced on a circuit before, it's doing quite well. I think
we've got a lot to gain still. Still a lot of improvement to put
on the car.
But as a start point, it's really good. It's responsive to setup
changes. It's easy to get a good balance. And, yeah, I mean,
we've got a lot of work to do, but it's looking good.
Q. The series has some pretty stringent rules about what you can
do and can't do with the brakes. Are you comfortable you have
enough brakes the way they mandated it?
BRYAN HERTA: Interesting. Yeah, we think so. We think definitely
it's one of the areas that we're really putting a lot of focus
on right now, you know, just learning there's some different pad
options, master cylinders we can change to affect the feeling of
They seem to work quite well. It's just I think more a matter of
getting the brakes to feel the way each driver wants them to
feel. You know, everybody has their own little tweaks on how
they like to run those.
Q. Ryan, can you tell me where and how many days you have tested
prior to coming here, please?
RYAN BRISCOE: Yeah, last November I had my first test with Chip
Ganassi Racing, that was at Phoenix Firebird Circuit. We went to
the PIR oval. In December, we had a one-day test for TRD at
Sebring. I did three days total.
Q. Anything else you could tell us about your day, Bryan. Looked
like you gained considerable time this afternoon compared to
BRYAN HERTA: Literally, I got three outings in today. We had
some various issues that we were trying to fight off. You know,
I didn't get through my entire test program, unfortunately,
today so we've got a lot of extra work to try to do tomorrow.
The good news is I've got plenty of tires for it, too. Just
start first thing in the morning. I did the least laps I think
today so I'll try and do the most tomorrow.
Q. About the tire warmers, you could almost see when they were
going out this afternoon and do a few flyers with the fast laps.
It was about 62, 63 degrees here today. Did you try with warm
BRYAN HERTA: I did run the tire warmers. You know, for me it's
sort of a new thing to run the tire warmers and for our team,
too, to get used to it. For me, it was good to feel the
difference. This guy, he's pretty much never been without tire
warmers in a big car. He's coming from the other side. I don't
know if you ran without tire warmers.
RYAN BRISCOE: We ran tire warmers at the end of the session. I
think the rules are going to be that the qualifying is going to
be one set with tire warmers. We're trying to practice with
THE MODERATOR: That rule is going to be road courses only, with
the tire warmers.
Q. You had the fast lap of the day, Ryan, last lap, very last
lap of the day. Was that just coincidence?
RYAN BRISCOE: I think the track was getting better all day. We
put new tires on at the end of the day. Obviously, it was going
to be the time to do my best personal lap of the day.
My tires, I've gotten the most out of them because of problems
we had with the car and caution flags. It was obvious that that
was going to be my better lap.
Q. It seemed like Scott (Dixon) and Darren (Manning) were
changing cars throughout the day. Did you go into their cars or
did somebody else assess your cars?
RYAN BRISCOE: They had different setups. We all have different
setups in the cars. Their driving positions are quite similar.
It's quite easy for them to swap cars and just get different
opinions from each other's cars to see what the feedback is.
It's a bit difficult for me because my position is difficult.
Probably got a bit complicated having three drivers in three
Q. Both of you as drivers have different chassis and different
engines. I realize this is the first day and everybody is just
finding their way out on the road course. Can you tell if one
chassis has more downforce, how you compare? You must look at
the other guys and see how fast they're doing.
BRYAN HERTA: I think it's difficult to draw too many conclusions
off the first test day because I don't think everybody showed
everything they have quite yet.
At this point, it seemed pretty evenly matched. I mean, at
different points there were Dallaras, Toyotas, Hondas, Chevy up
top at one point, too. I think everybody sort of had their
moment in the sun.
Q. Bryan, how much have the engines improved since you first
started running on a road course at the end of last year?
BRYAN HERTA: This is the first time I've driven an IRL IndyCar
(Series) car on a road course. I think after talking to Dario,
he did a couple of tests at the end of the year and at the start
of this year. You know, straightaway we were pretty pleasantly
surprised by how good the Honda was. There weren't any real
major issues getting up to speed on the road course.
Now it seems like we're just into the mode of incremental
improvements, just trying to find the sweet spot on the car. The
engine is the same.
On the ovals, we all know pretty much where we want to run these
cars now, but there's a lot of areas for exploration right now
on the road course. I think everybody is just trying to find
what it takes to go fast.
Q. How much does a course like this help you set up for St.
RYAN BRISCOE: I don't know anything about St. Pete.
BRYAN HERTA: I think ultimately it's a lot different types of
corners than what we'll see at St. Pete or a street course, even
Watkins Glen or Sears Point, for that matter. But in the
beginning stages of the road course testing, I think it's a good
place, it's hard on brakes, so it's really good to focus on
brake work. It's got some different types of corners, some slow
corners and some medium stuff.
You know, I think it will help us, but ultimately we're not
going to go with this exact setup when we go to St. Pete. We'll
THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you very much. Appreciate your time. .
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