Around the Paddock: Chicagoland, Friday

Interviews, Podcasts — By on August 27, 2010 7:28 pm

While at the track on Friday, Paul took the opportunity to speak to a number of members of the IZOD IndyCar Series community.  The hot-button topic of the day, of course, is the reported dissent of the team owners regarding the decisions made so far on the 2012 car, but Paul had conversations on a variety of other subjects as well.

First, Paul talked with the venerable Mario Andretti. Mario spoke about how he interacts with Michael and Marco on race weekends, whether he feels that the skill set found in today’s field has changed since his driving days, and his thoughts on the owner/Series 2012 car issue.

Next up was Keith Wiggins, owner of HVM Racing.  With track activity roaring in the background (our apologies), Keith shared his view on the “near-unanimous concern” of the owners and how he feels the Series needs to better facilitate communication between its administration and the teams.

Paul followed that up with a brief chat with Bobby Rahal, who didn’t have much in the way of thoughts to share on the new car issues but did offer the prospects of a full-time return to the Series for both himself as an owner and Graham as a driver.

The last team owner who Paul spoke with today was Dale Coyne.  Dale was refreshingly frank in his thoughts on the owner/Series communication issues and the challenges facing the owners with the new chassis roll-out.  He offered insight in the form of comparisons between the release of the DP-01 chassis in Champ Car and the methods being used today.  He also backed Tony Cotman in his role in the project.

We’re grateful that Simona de Silvestro found a few moments to share with Paul this afternoon.  She talked about how her learning curve on ovals is coming along, the bumps that the drivers are contending with at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend, and how she feels her car will perform under race conditions tomorrow evening.

Paul’s last interview of the day was with Al Speyer, Executive Director of Firestone Racing.  Al gave more details on the excellent tire package that Firestone provided for the weekend at Infineon Raceway and offered more general views on the primary and alternate tire system from Firestone’s perspective.  He also spoke about the meaning of the terms “construction” and “compound” as they relate to racing tires, gave an overview of the tire specification plans for the remaining races of the season, and wrapped up today’s segment with a discussion of Firestone’s temperature tolerance expectations for its racing products.

To hear the interviews in their entirety, click here or search for More Front Wing on iTunes.

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