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JAPANESE GRAND PRIX
Suzuka International Racing Course. 24 September 2019
June 28, 2004
The top 3 qualifiers at Indy - Whiteman, Ryan, and Elencevski - were interviewed by Pit Reporter Toby Lock.

Another pole for you Scott, how was the lap?

The lap was pretty close to the best we can do around this track, we are giving away a fair advantage through the oval section so having the pace to take pole was quite unexpected.

Not many drivers appreciate this track, particularly the slow winding infield, how do you rate it?

Well the track tests both machinery and driver skill, the infield section is tricky but once you find the right way around its very easy to be consistent here.

Strategy is key here, how confident are you in yours?

Well one can never be certain that they have the right strategy, my crew will need to watch the race for me and see how things are panning out, just in case we need to change on the run.

2nd - Kieran Ryan (Phoenix F1 - Renault)

Welcome back to F1VWC Kieran! How did your lap go?

The lap was generally okay enough. This weekend has been difficult because our car has not been the best to be honest. I had quite a hard time setting up the car through the weekend with mixtures of balance issues and oversteer effecting much of my efforts. But the strange thing is I think I over estimated the pole time would be so I presumed I would be slower but thankfully it wasn't so to finish 2nd is truly surprising. I had a big off on Friday, which damaged my race car so I was quite lucky that that didn't hamper my weekend too much.

It's not been long since we last saw you, but you're in different overalls this time! How have you settled into the Phoenix team?

Very well thank you. This deal was arranged a while before this date and it's something myself and Andy have been trying to get done for I think 2 years, but for varying reasons nothing could be signed - so when the chance came along to drive for Phoenix for 2 races I took it. This car is quite fast, only 15 BHP or so off the top engines and reliability is quite bulletproof (touch wood) so podiums are quite achievable.

Andy Graydon is known to be a hard boss to please, how do you rate your chances in the race?

Yes, I've heard he can be a hard boss! But I guess he just knows what he wants from his team. He has given me a chance to see what I can do in this car and come race day hopefully I can show what I can do. Even with the problems of this weekend, the car is consistent which is good, I think the strategy is right and I have a car that's able to push hard and stay in the top 3. I don't think a win is on for me this weekend, I think Scott has a big advantage over us but never say never.

Is it difficult switching from team to team, with now further rumours spiralling that you'll be switching teams again before the end of the season?

It's not easy that's for sure. One team has their way, another team has a different way of doing things, but when you want to come back into a competitive league like this after being stuck doing exams, you can't be too picky. I've been lucky; Simsoa is a fast car and I could achieve good results with it, Phoenix too is a strong car and I hope I can obtain mine and Phoenix's elusive first grand prix win.

3rd - Steve Elencevski (FinOz - Ferrari (c))

Great result Steve, how did it go?

Not too bad, it was the best i could do with the package we have here for this race, so i have to be happy starting from 3rd on the grid.

Slighty disappointing result in Canada for the team, how can you bounce back?

Yes it was dissapointing. We we're totally lost with set-up & decided to play it safe, so we ended up using too much downforce, therefore losing heaps of time in the 3rd sector. If we can get a podium result out of this race, we'll be more than pleased, but are looking forward to some of the circuits coming up where we think we will be very competitive & hopefully challenge for wins.

It is hard to find a balance between the fast banking and the twisty infield here at Indianapolis, but how confident are you of the setup on the FinOz?

Again, we are not overly confident with our set-up here. After looking at the 3rd sector times, i just hope we havent made the same mistake. We are also having some problems with understeer on entry to the corners & lots of oversteer on the exits.


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