Driver Spotlight: Christian Fittipaldi
Driver, No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP
Halfway through the season, how is #TheFuture coming along?
“I’m surprised how the cars are so equal considering the differences they have. To be honest with you, I would have never expected us to be as equal as what we are to the P2s or, depending on the circumstances, the P2 being equal to us. Obviously I’m not going to hide that there are some places we have a small advantage and there are some places where the P2 have a small advantage on us. But, all-in-all, I think everyone did an awesome job. Now is it perfect, no. But in my opinion it’s impossible to get it perfect because you’re dealing with two completely different race cars. But having said all of that, hats off to everyone. I think they did an awesome job considering the differences.”
What’s it going to take to win the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship?
“Run exactly the same way we did in the first half of the year. We obviously had an awesome start to the season then Sebring and Long Beach were good races, we can’t complain, Laguna we were looking strong but then there was an incident that had nothing to do with us. We were happy, and lucky, to finish fourth at Laguna so I’ll take that as a race win. The most important thing is that everywhere we go, we’re competitive. We unload and we are quick. The problem is when you unload and you are not quick. You’re going to have some races that are easier and some that are harder but if you don’t have the speed then you are basically dead. At the same time, you’re going to have some races that are going to go your way, and you’re going to others that don’t. I think we have shown that we have the speed and we have to continue in the same form.”
How special is it to run at a track like Indy that’s steeped in history?
“As you mentioned, there’s obviously a huge amount of history at Indy. It’s probably the most famous race track in the world. At the end of the day, it’s a race track like any other. You need to go out there and win the race. Whether you are at Indy or VIR, it doesn’t really matter because the points are the same that they award and we are chasing a championship. Now if we manage to win at Indy, it’s definitely an extra bonus but we’re not going to Indy with extra hype. We need to win all the races no matter what track it is. If we manage to do extremely well at Indy, it’s an extra bonus for us. ”
What can we expect from the new track configuration at Indy?
“I spoke to Joao (Barbosa, co-driver), he went testing there in June, and he said the grip level there is a lot higher than what it used to be. If you remember, everyone was complaining that cars were sliding all over the place last year. Now it’s more like what we’re used to. The first section we got rid of two corners but all-in-all, it’s the same. Then the last section we added that little chicain before we go on to the banking and the front straight. He said there are some differences but they aren’t huge. He said, in his opinion, the biggest difference is the grip level. Last year it was weird, no matter the situation, the car was sliding all over. It wasn’t a real showing of what these cars can do last year. We were running three to four seconds slower than what we could do but it was the same for everybody.”
We hear you’re a soccer fan, how did you enjoy the World Cup?
“The TV is the best place to watch the games from. Of course I’m following Brazil. I was in Brazil just before the start of the World Cup and believe it or not, things were a lot more civilized than I thought. There was a little bit of confusion here and there but all-in-all it’s been pretty good. The job they did on the stadiums was nice and once the games are going, it’s really cool to watch it on TV because that’s what Brazilian’s know how to do naturally. We’re soccer fans, we know how to go to a stadium, and cheer and so I don’t think the World Cup inside the stadiums is a problem. Maybe getting to the stadiums and hotels, taxis, getting mugged, that could be a problem. In my opinion the Olympics is going to be a lot harder for Brazil to organize. The only advantage Brazil has, in terms of the Olympics, is everything happens in one city and the World Cup is happening all over the country.”