Driver Spotlight: Memo Rojas
Driver, No. 01 Telcel Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford
How does it feel to be a winner at Sebring?
“I am very proud to be among those who have won this race. Those last 20 minutes were tough. It was one of those races you hope to win and be in a position to win it shows how hard our Ganassi team worked to do it.”
Has it been a big adjustment moving to Ford?
“It’s been good so far. Not only moving to a new manufacturer with Ford, but also a new engine with the EcoBoost which is really out of the box. This Ford engine has a lot of technology in it, like I said, the EcoBoost system- which is pretty amazing how it works, and the power it gives us and the economy behind it – involves a lot of technology and putting it into a race car implies a lot of development and that’s taking a lot of effort by the engineers and the drivers to fine tune that. But I’m surprised, after Daytona, the engine is where we wanted it. It’s been a great job by everybody on the Ford side.”
How is the progress of the EcoBoost coming?
“Every new engine, every new development, has this kind of development curve. We were definitely not 100 percent at Daytona. I don’t think we’re 100 percent yet, but I think we’re close to it. The Ford guys have stepped up their game really quickly and everything we’ve requested and every bit of feedback we’ve given them, they’ve reacted to it and the package we have right now is a good package; it’s [now] a winning package.”
How do you feel the Balance of Performance is right now in the Prototype class?
“That’s a big question. It’s always a dilemma depending on who you ask. I’m just going to give you a general picture. I think what they’ve done has surpassed my expectations. I didn’t think it was going to be physically possible at first, but the lap times have proven to be pretty close and I didn’t expect that to be honest. At Daytona lap times were pretty close but I didn’t expect that at Sebring, but they are close again so that’s pretty surprising. My hats off to the people behind that because many of us didn’t think that was going to be possible in such a small time frame.”
How do you prepare for Long Beach since you’ve never been there?
“I watch a lot of videos. There are simulators now that help us learn the layout of a track and that’s about it. You just try to learn the track with all the resources you have available without driving the actual track, with like I said, simulators or on-board cameras and videos.”
What do you like to do when you’re not in a race car?
“I like to ride my mountain bike. Mexico City is in the middle of a valley so there’s a lot of mountains around Mexico and good places to go ride your bike.”