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TUDOR: Ford EcoBoost Pre-Race Quotes, Rolex 24 (Ganassi/Shank)
Posted by: newsla on Jan 25, 2014 - 04:04 AM
Grand Am News
TUDOR: Ford EcoBoost Pre-Race Quotes, Rolex 24 (Ganassi/Shank)


5 02 (*Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Marino Franchitti, Kyle Larson)

8 01 (*Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Jamie McMurray, Sage Karam)

9 60 (John Pew, *Ozz Negri, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Wilson)

* Driver qualified.


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No. 02 Target/Telcel/Big Machine Records Ford EcoBoost Riley

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates

SCOTT DIXON: “It’s wide open, really. It’s a big change for the team. Aerodynamically it’s a big task, and with the new engine and an engine that really hasn’t done a 24-hour race before, and being turbo. There’s lots of different areas that you can improve and make it better. Right now it’s just trying to make the process as quick and as smooth as possible, but also trying to get the most out of it too. I’ve really enjoyed working with everybody so far. It’s going to be a tough race for us, but obviously when you team up for the first time you’ve got lots to learn.”


Dixon: “It always helps. I think the more you can practice those things, it just makes for a smoother transition. This year, with enabling the fuel flow to be quicker, your left with around 10 seconds less time to do a driver change, so there’s much more emphasis on that this year. And because the P2 cars fuel a lot quicker than the DP cars. With the whole change and everything, it’ll be interesting. It’ll probably take a good year to even itself out.”

No. 01 Telcel/Target/Comfort Revolution Ford EcoBoost Riley

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates

SCOTT PRUETT: “I’m so excited to be back with Ford. We’ve spent so many years together and had so many victories together and also, this is just a brand new adventure. I think sometimes people just think of Ganassi just coming on and jumping back on and immediately being the fastest, the top, the everything, and I’m excited because this is so new. This is a brand-new technology with the EcoBoost V-6 twin-turbo, there’s a lot of changes with that, and sometimes you need to take a little step back to step forward. Realistically, I think we’re excited to get into the race, excited to be here and kick off the season and just seeing the commitment of everybody at Ford and Ganassi and Roush Yates, just from the Roar to here, and see how fast we’ve moved in such a short amount of time is really exciting, and we’ll take that to Sebring and Long Beach and through the rest of the season.”

JAMIE MCMURRAY: “We definitely have a little bit of work to do. I’m hoping from our side that there might be some adjustments made throughout the car to try to make them a little more equal, but we put our race engine in this morning and everything looks really good. It looks like the reliability is going to be there. It’s a really long race and we certainly need to be a little bit quicker, but a lot can happen.”

No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford EcoBoost Riley

Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian

AJ ALLMENDINGER: “I wish we had more time right now. It’s been tough. I’m proud of the guys at Michael Shank Racing. They’ve had to work so hard over these last three months to get the car ready, keep getting it updated. It’s going to be a long race. We have to keep fighting to keep improving. I wish we had another day or two to keep working on it. We’ve missed it a little bit. We’ll just go back and see how this race plays out. You have to be there at the end and control everything you can control. Like always, I love the guys that I drive with and work with. We’ll work hard for the 24.”

JUSTIN WILSON: “I think (team chemistry plays a) big part. We all get on and we all try to work toward the same goal. We don’t have four drivers competing to be the quickest driver on the team, we have work to make the car faster, to make ourselves faster. We’re studying data together, video together, trying to learn what we can about driving the car and engineering the car. I think that’s pretty special and it works well. I’m just privileged to be a part of such a great team.”

JOHN PEW: “Unfortunately we didn’t get more time to prep, but it is what it is, and I think we have a car that can finish, and if we finish, we could do quite well. I don’t think we have a car that’s going to win the race, but you never know in these kinds of things. There’s so much traffic out there, so many things that can happen, but I’ve got the best guys with me and the best team I think and we’ve got a pretty good car. Unfortunately we don’t have quite enough time to work on everything, but I think we’ll be good.”

OZZ NEGRI: “It’s been awesome (to see the ALMS and Grand-Am cars on the track together). I think this TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is going to be huge for sports car racing. I think this is going to be the best road racing here in the US ever. Competition is pretty tough, not just drivers, but teams. It’ll be interesting. We’ll be learning about each other, because obviously one car is going to be faster than the other car at different tracks, you know, just need to work as hard as we can.”


JOHN MADDOX, Roush Yates Engines: “We’ve had two years of hard work going into this. The last two months have been really difficult, getting to this point. We’ve had some failures and some great successes and we’ve pulled some Hail Mary’s in the last three weeks trying to pass the durability test. We passed the last durability test Wednesday afternoon, 885 laps of the Daytona simulation. We feel really good about the engines we put in the cars. We’re looking forward to the race. We’re going to run the race conservative. We’re not looking for just great fuel economy, we’re not looking for just great speed. We’re looking to finish the race and be racing at the end.”


Maddox: “The relief you find is about two days after the race is over, when you wake up and think ‘hey, that’s over.’ I’ve had really, really bad times at this race and I’ve had really, really good times with the race, but I’ve never been through the race without a big pit in my stomach. No matter how well it’s going, it’s always tough and worrisome, and you’re always on edge waiting for the next thing to happen. In the engine business, you never know when you’ve solved your last problem.”

JAMIE ALLISON, Director, Ford Racing: “We’re still ‘in labor.’ There are still pains. The baby isn’t really born. To me, the birth really happens at the conclusion of the 24. We have a demonstrable gap based on the changes enacted by IMSA after the Roar (at the 24 test session). It’s a natural process of homologation and adjustments that the series has to take based on the tests that they have. From the Roar, to the actions they took, in terms of impacting the restrictor plates on both the Chevys and the Fords, and now realigning those and readjusting those to be a little more competitive set up.”


Allison: “To continue the analogy of childbirth, there’s a lot of joy in the early part of knowing there’s a child to be born, then along the way, you’re in gestation, then it comes to labor. There’s still joy, but really you’re in the pain part of watching the labor. That’s why there’s the sense of anticipation. It is here, we will race, we will be in contention. It’ is a 24-hour race and we believe that just with the series adjustments, to just make sure it’s more consistent like the Roar was, then we’ll be able to be in contention with the right strategy, with the right circumstance, and with the right combination of fuel mileage and power, which is what EcoBoost is all about, and the right teams, present itself to potentially win the race.”

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