Page 14 - Dallara Magazine

IZOD IndyCar 2013
Baltimore, Houston). However, after three
years in such a highly demanding role, he
felt that it would benefit both the
organization and himself if he were to move
on. In fact, there will be little or no change
at Indycar, which is entirely in keeping with
the traditional character of the Hulman-
George family, who prefer to remain behind
the scenes. The Hulman-Georges and Dallara
have been working together for fifteen years
and have built up an excellent relationship
that goes well beyond the terms of the
contract. A relationship like ours, built on
mutual trust, is simply priceless».
Hunter-Reay visited the factory in Varano
recently: tell us something about the man
from up close”?
Ryan is a “man of value”. He has dealt with
family bereavement and competed for a
number of years in Champ Car and Indycar
with limited success before swallowing his
pride and relaunching his career by dropping
down to the minor championships: driving is
his passion, but winning is not his obsession.
Ryan is a serene person, fully aware of how
quickly success can become “yesterday’s
news”; while still a boy at heart, the man in
him is capable of recognizing beauty in life
wherever it lies. A couple of annecdotes
illustrate Ryan the man. After a session on
our driving simulator in Italy, he grabbed a
helmet and tracksuit, pulled on a non-
descript raincoat and took the KTM X-Bow
out onto the circuit in Varano despite the
rain, despite the fact that there was no one
there to watch him; after he’d finished, he
dried the car off and then made his way to
the workshop to thank all the mechanics
and engineers: it was like a scene from the
book “The Art of Racing in the Rain”. I recall
another episode from his stay in Italy. Ryan
participated in a meeting with about a
hundred students from local schools and
Dallara’s collaborators: he was charming,
uncomplicated, polite, displayed genuine
interest in anything that anyone had to say,
and was more than happy to reply to in full
to any questions, he even went off on his
own to find a chair when it was time for an
autograph session, and stayed on until the
last guest had left, approachable and with a
smile in his eyes and his heart».
Did Hunter-Reay express any requirements
or requests on the part of the drivers?
Ryan is an all-round professional, capable
of racing at high speed on the track in
Indianapolis or on the bends at Long Beach.
Just like every intelligent driver who realises
that motorsports are not video games played
out by invincible heroes, but hard mental
and physical work, whit respect for both his
colleagues and for the potentially fatal risks
involved, Ryan urged us never to let up in
seeking to improve his safety and that of his
fellow drivers in the event of an accident».
The green revolution is a recurrent theme
in F.1: in your opinion could IZOD IndyCar
also decide to increase the environmental
compatibility of its product? We are not
talking about the just engine but also
materials, circuits and technological
solutions in general.
That’s an interesting question and it deserves
proper and adequate answer. The initial
response is that the new Indycar has
improved aerodynamic efficiency (less
resistance for the same downforce), and that
the capacity of the new engines has been
reduced while still producing the same
amount of power, and the total weight has
been reduced. However, if we look beyond
such considerations, which exploit the “green”
concept to justify new activities and increased
turnover, we are all too aware of how often
technology tends to complicate products,
making them seem almost alien to those that
use them and those who are interested in
them; by the same token, the principal reason
for using exotic and expensive materials is
frequently lost on the general public, and
may not even be justified by the results
achieved in terms of improved performance
or reduced consumption. To be perfectly
frank, I think it’s rather difficult to establish
any significant correlation between the
green" economy and motor racing
competitions that rely so heavily on
overtaking and braking manoeuvres,
performed repeatedly on the track under
highly risky conditions, and I’m tempted to
recall William Faulkner’s story “Pylon”, which
I discussed with Dan Wheldon a few days
before he died. This is especially true in the
case of Indycar and the other American
motor racing championships, where the onus
is on entertainment, at the expense of the
technical aspect, with the exception of
What do you think about Alex Zanardi’s
latest ambition to compete in the Indy 500?
I’m hoping to speak to Alessandro over the
next few weeks, to find out more about the
motives that may or may not inspire him to
take up this latest challenge. In any event,
who am I to judge the achievements, dreams
and motives of such a brave man as
Alessandro Zanardi? All I can do is offer him
my support when he makes his decision and
the experience (and numerous mistakes)
from my Indy 500 career, during which I
competed in 16 races, winning twelve and
losing four».