Grand-Am: Not only result in testing but the engine as well made Enge happy - 14.01.2009
It was not ideal testing, though Tomas Enge feels well after 3 days spent on circuit Daytona International Speedway. He was the fastest in last practice and fourth absolutely. He tested for American team Alegra Motorsports in preparation on 24h Daytona. He met a lot of friends from line and fully enjoyed the power of BMW engine. He raced in Grand-Am (famous marathon is a part of it) in last two years, nevertheless with German engine for the first time.
You are nominated in king´s cathegory of Daytona Prototypes as well as in last races. How do you feel? It is little bit different from European races. I mean, both the technics, the rivals…
„The competition is huge again, maybe stronger than in last years. Elite teams and drivers from Indy Car Series, Juan-Pablo Montoya and other stars from NASCAR, previous winners of Daytona, shortly high-quality line-up. Cars are little bit heavier and less powerfull in comparison to LMP1 but driving them is fairly. Across the cars Grand-Am are little bit faster i comparison to GT1.“
Photo: BPA/Martin Straka
For high-res just click on thumbnail
Some of your previous team colleagues are among your rivals. For example Portugese Pedro Lamy or Spanish Antonio Garcia whom with you finished second in LMS (GT1) last year. Have you had time to talk with him?
„Tests were running for three days but it does not mean that you are bored there. In addition we had to sort out quite a lot technical stuff. We just said hello to each other as well as with other rivals. But we realized such a „mini fight“ between me and Antonio. With our prototypes in last testing ride at the same time. First on used tyres than on new ones. I was for 2 tenths. It made me really happy. As well as home driver David Donohue did not overtake me. He pull down only 1 tenth. Those are such a small driver´s pleasures and mutual instigations.“
Report from tests at Daytona HERE
You raced for Samax team where you got second place in Salt Lake City in 2007. I mean in Grand-Am Championship so far. Now team Alegra Motorsports decided for you. How do you feel in this team?
„Everything is fine. Line-up is very skilled and raced a lot with Porsche cars and its official drivers in past. Ryan Dalziel is one of my colleague for marathon. We have got several similar experiences from previous starts in USA. The other drivers look well too so that we look forward to race.“
What about the BMW engine which roars in your Riley prototype? It is your first experience with this marque in the Grand-Am.
„It is great. Comparing to competitors has amore favourable torque and is stronger in lower revs. Those are important benefits and I hope we will be able to take advantage of them in a fortnight time.“
Races on 24h are your favourite and you are very successful in it. Le Mans, Spa, Nürburgring, Daytona.Which one do you like the most?
„That one just waiting for me. So it is Daytona at the moment…..It is very difficult to judge. All of them having something special.“
And your ambitions for battle in Florida, which come true on January 24.-25?
„Of course the highest, nevertheless all of us know how troubles can race bring. Only one trifle and everything is over. Tthere is very tricky part of circuit inside the oval. There are very narrow places in Daytona circuit where collisions can happen easily and quite often. Mainly with slowler GT cars. When we will avoid them and technics will work properly, we would do good results. But I do not like saying if something, when we…..no, we will see in 14 days.“