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“The Detroit Grand Prix is a famous event in history so I know a little about it but only what I saw on TV. It looks like a beautiful course as it is set up in the middle of the park on an island on the DetroitRiver. It’s quite spectacular scenery.The team has previous experience at Belle Isle so I have some data from that but I don't really know the details of the course until we will have a track walk with the engineers Thursday. We definitely have good, positive momentum and our motivation is very high."
“It’s a shame because Takuma drove a fantastic race and the crew did a great job," said Bobby Rahal. "What I am most pleased about is that we are not the most well-funded team out there and yet we are going head-to-head with the most well-funded team out there so we are getting a lot of bang for our buck. I feel for Takuma because he did a super job. I don’t blame him at all. When you see the opportunity you’ve got to go for it – especially with one lap to go in the Indy 500.I’m proud of the job he did and proud of the job the guys did and I feel bad for them because they deserved a little bit better. I guess you can say ‘Well, they knew we were here if nothing else.’I thought Michel did a very good job. I’m not sure what happened but he pitted when the pits were closed and that obviously hurt our overall standing but up until that point he was running very competitively. In fact early in the race he was two or three cars behind Takuma and was going to the front. I thought he did a great job in his first race back and I think he has to feel pretty happy about the day. I hope he will be back with us and do a few more races.”
“I would classify this day as a day of satisfaction," said Tom Anderson, Managing Director Motorsport Operations. "The team worked really hard this week. Totally it up, it was 95 hours for the guys so it was a real hard week with minor disruption. Things went pretty much as we hoped and planned. Racers always want more. Yes you are disappointed that you weren’t the fastest that day but the real prize if on May 27 when we run the Indy 500.That day is the big one. To win the race you first have to get in the show.We are here now, we’re in as first day qualifiers. Very pleased given the development with the new car. Jay O’Connell in the engineering department has done a fantastic job. Race engineers Gerry Hughes and Bruno Couprie did a great job as did Team Manager Ricardo Nault. There were no mechanical issues on the team’s part.One hundred percent reliability with a new package is something to pat everybody on the back about.On Sunday we will work on race set up which we have done a little bit of during the week but we want to verify what we have learned as we run the new car more and more. Each day is a learning curve. Sunday will be really our last working day for race setup. We will work a little bit on Carb Day next Friday but not a lot so we can keep the mileage and tire count down until the race. We will celebrate tonight and get back to work tomorrow.”
“Takuma made several qualifying run simulations today so he is prepared and ready to go," said Technical Director Jay O'Connell. "We have a good idea of what we have set-up wise for qualifying.Michel also started towards qualifying but unfortunately had an engine issue so they are busy putting his car back together but it looks like it will be ready to go tomorrow. He is looking forward to a good couple of runs in the morning practice before heading out for qualifying. Even though they split the groups in half, there will still be 16 cars out there and it is difficult to get a clean lap but he just needs to get a feel for his car again; make sure everything feels okay -- which I’m sure it will be fine – and get himself setup for a good qualifying run. I think Michel is confident that the car will feel good when it’s trimmed out and that he can have a good run.”
“Its Day 5 and the plan is still working," said Tom Anderson, Managing Director Motorsport Operations. "We made more progress on Michel’s and everything is moving forward there. He is asking for the changes we hoped he would so there is more speed tomorrow.The race simulation of running in traffic today worked really well so we are extremely pleased with the progress there with the balance of the race cars. We are really happy with the way that Bruno (Couprie) and Michel are working together; it’s fantastic.The track is obviously getting much better as we have now put five days of rubber on it. I can’t remember the last time we have gone five days in a row without rain and it looks like we are going to get all the way through Sunday with that.Tomorrow everybody is going to be taking some downforce out it because Fast Friday is almost upon us and they are going to throw some more horsepower at us so that will be another challenge.The cars are balanced pretty well so I am pretty pleased. Takuma was working on race setups today as well. Really we are almost to the final day of race preparation.We have a chance with Takuma for a possible top-nine and our ultimate goal of a front row so there are big possibilities here. Gerry and Jay are doing a fantastic job there. Jay is also bouncing back and forth between Bruno and Gerry (Hughes) with both cars.Engineering is right on top of it right now and I am impressed with the job they are doing. So far, everything is going according to plan.”
“Both cars did a lot of running today; each car ran over 70 laps so one-third of the race distance," said Technical Director Jay O'Connell. "Michel did a lot of good running to increase his experience and confidence and was able to get up to 218 mph. He felt much more comfortable running behind cars, running in traffic and doing some race simulation. On Takuma’s side, he also did some great long race runs on two different sets of tires. The first set, he ran more on his own, was very consistent, and did some flat-out running, learning to use his tools. And on the second run he was in a lot of traffic, playing with other cars and made some good progress learning good lessons for the race.Tomorrow we will still run in race trim, proving out some racing parts and setups. Thursday and Friday we will be back in qualifying mode getting ready for qualifying on Saturday.”
“We started the day with Michel on track and unfortunately we had a little bit of a fuel pressure issue with the Honda system this morning which negated running from 12-3 which was our initial plan," said Tom Anderson, Managing Director of Motorsport Operations. "Fortunately we were able to repair the problem and get back out to where Michel had a good run during perfect conditions in ‘Happy Hour’ as we say here in Indy from 5-6 p.m. in the final hour and were able to run in traffic.Michel is running at the full potential of the car in its current aero settings. We are just making sure that we are giving him plenty of track time and making him work with all the adjustments in the car and totally familiarizing himself with all of the adjustments before we start to trim the car as we have with Takuma. Takuma is right at the top of the charts so we are very pleased with the engineering staff at the moment. They are doing a good job and Takuma is doing a good job on his feedback.It’s a leading platform which Michel, in another two days of good track time, I believe that by Friday and Saturday Michel will be close to his full potential. We are very happy with our program; we are still exactly to the plan.The weather is cooperating and all is well.”
“Overall today was the perfect conclusion to the first two days of running here," said Tom Anderson, Managing Director of Motorsport Operations. "We are extremely happy with both drivers and programs. Obviously Takuma has got a lot more miles this season than what Michel has. Takuma was able to do basically wind tunnel work for us today all day. Michel had a good run just building miles yesterday. We took a little more time with Takuma today running through the aero program and translated that later onto Michel’s program. There is no real surprise in the different speeds because the aero was quite a bit different on Michel’s car than it was on Takuma’s. Basically, these first two days Gerry Hughes has been building a database for our engineers that are coming in tomorrow from our ALMS race in California. We will be at full strength and will have a barrel of information that we can ponder through. We are looking forward to a big week. We are very happy with the speeds so far.”