8 June 2007
Q&A: Justin Wilson - EXCLUSIVE
Alex Tagliani has a considerable amount of experience, but has he been able to bring that to bear with the new Panoz chassis, or have you both been starting from scratch?
With the new car, we're both starting from scratch and learning what it likes and what it wants. It's not like it is an evolution, as it has always been in the past, this is completely new. But Alex has definitely helped a lot and the great thing is that we're both feeling the same things - he can back up what I'm saying and vice-versa - and not because we want to protect each other, but just because that's what we're feeling. We have a different way of describing things and that's helped the engineers, to give them the feelings that we're having.
What differences does the new Panoz have over the old Lola?
There are a number of differences. You can go from the obvious ones like the paddleshift, the high nose, the slightly different seating position, down to the wheelbase being shorter, so the car reacts differently, the weight distribution is different. There's just a lot of subtle things that need adjusting or adapting to, whether it's driving or set-up work, and you've got work around those things.
We're in the middle of a six-week break before the series resumes in Portland. You had a truncated test up there shortly after the three street races that opened the season, but how do you see things going for Portland, and the rest of the season building up to those races in Europe at the end of the summer?
The test was frustrating as we didn't get much achieved there so, when we go back for the race, we've got to work very hard and make up for that. it's mainly going to be about getting the set-up better and, hopefully, we can develop the car like they're working on at the minute. The main aim, of course, is to go there and win. We've been very competitive the last two years - we should have won it in 2005 when the engine blew up, and we should have won it last year, but got blocked by a backmarker who jumped the chicane and then blocked me - so it's been a good track for me and one I really like, so I'd like to be competitive again this year. That's what we're working towards, and the rest of the year is the same principal. Even though it's been a frustrating start to the year, we've still got it in us and I've got a good group of people around me who can win races, so I'm going to be trying very hard to give us that opportunity.
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