We are announcing today, Team Penske, that Will Power will be stepping into the #3 car for at least the first part of 2009 testing while Helio [Castroneves]' court case is being settled. We have the principals of the announcement with us today, of course, Ryan Briscoe, Will Power, Helio Castroneves, and also Tim Cindric, the president of Penske Racing. Tim, we'll begin with a few opening remarks....
Yeah, obviously we wanted to come today and welcome Will Power to Team Penske for 2009. Obviously, it's under difficult circumstances. The most important thing for us in 2009, not only is he our driver, but our friend, is to do everything we can to support Helio going forward with what he's going through. It's a difficult thing for me to sit up here today and even talk about it. I'm sure it's a lot more difficult for him than it is for me.
But under these circumstances, our job is to make sure that in racing you're as prepared as you can possibly be. That's what Roger [Penske] has always set a precedence for; it's what our organisation is known for, is preparation. We need to be sure in 2009 that we're ready to go and we're ready to win as many races as we can, for not only our sponsors and for our organisation, but also all those that work for us.
This is, today, really a way of communicating to all of you how we're going to approach 2009. I'm sure there's going to be a lot of questions about what if this, what if that. But time will determine a lot of those things. You probably won't really know those answers until you know more about it.
We're here today to really just come out and talk about exactly how we're going to approach things and answer the questions that you have. My feeling is that, I said to Helio the other day, in this situation, number one, it's real difficult to see a guy on such a high after everything that he went through with Dancing With the Stars
, all the accolades he gained there, the fact that everybody got to know the guy I've known now for nine or ten years, now to see him go through this situation, it's very difficult. At the same time I'm a hundred per cent confident that if there's anybody out there that's going to get through it in a positive way, it's going to be this guy.
We're very fortunate to have someone like Will available to join the team. The way I look at it is, we have three drivers. There's three drivers for Team Penske in 2009. We'll determine who drives which one of those two cars depending on how everything sorts out. We'll kind of take it a day at a time. That's what we've been doing to this point.
I'd like to welcome Will to this organisation and let him say a few words....
Firstly, I'd like to thank Roger and Tim for giving me this fantastic opportunity. Penske is a team that's won a lot of championships, Indy 500s, races. I'm really looking forward to helping these guys out for the 2009 season. I know there's a handful of drivers in the mix. I feel very privileged that they chose me. I'm really going to give this a hundred per cent. No matter what the outcome is, I'm very happy to be here.
Ryan, you have another Aussie chasing you....
Yeah, definitely very excited to welcome Will on board. We all saw how fast he was last year and also in previous years in Champ Car. He's, I think, going to be a great asset to the team in the lead-up to the championship. Look forward to working with him.
Helio, let's get your thoughts on obviously a tough situation, but I'm sure it's nice to know that Penske Racing is standing behind you....