Catchfence


Mar 11, 2013
Monday
2013 IICS Barber Motorsports Park Q&A with Team Chevy Driver EJ Viso
Press Release

EJ Viso - Photo Credit:  Donald Miralle/Getty Images
EJ Viso - Photo Credit: Donald Miralle/Getty Images
EJ VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA/PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Barber Motorsports Park and discussed working with his new team, working with up and coming Venezuelan drivers and much more.

ONE OF YOUR CREW CHIEFS OR TEAM OWNERS WAS INVOLVED IN DOING SOME WORK WITH HVM?
“Yeah, Keith (Wiggins) a guy that we all liked and they raced with for two years.  2008 and 2009 pretty much I learn a lot from him when I was brand new in the series.  I know he has a deal going on with the team where I’m going to be running with this entry so pretty much Andretti and HVM are helping each other.  Probably in a technical area Andretti is going to be the one taking control of it.  I know Keith is going to be bringing his experience in racing into the team as well.”

IS THERE A POSSIBILITY TO SEE YOU ONE DAY IN AN ENDURANCE RACE?
“I would love to. We haven’t spoken about it, but I have done a few endurance races and I like it very much.  I would like to do it.  Of course, we haven’t spoken about it, but maybe you can be my agent and help me (laughs).”

DO YOU KNOW IF HE WILL BE ON THE TIMING STAND AT ALL OR WHETHER THAT WILL ALL BE ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT?
“I’m sure he will be there.  As I said before Andretti is pretty much taking full control of the car of the entry of the team.  How you know he is presence is always important especially when we are going to be using his entry.  I know he has his racing priorities that his other kind of racing that he is starting to do, but you know this is what he loves doing. The entry is still his.”

HOW DOES YOUR MOVE TO ANDRETTI INTERFACE WITH YOUR TEAM VENEZUELA?
“Well, I want to make it clear that Team Venezuela is nothing to do with me.  Team Venezuela it’s a group of Venezuelans that have been involved in sport for a long time.  Actually one of them is a guy called Vicente Tralci, a former driver.  He is the one that took me into racing in 1990.  He took me around a race track in a go kart and his lap. That day I really knew that racing was for me.  So, he has just been putting a lot of energy together creating Team Venezuela.  Team Venezuela is we want to call it and a very proudly say it.  That is a Venezuelan team so far this is step one into IndyCar, into racing.  But, they want to grow, what they are doing in the business side is partnering with Andretti.  A lot of the assets in my entry, my team, are going to be owned by them the cars.  So that is a way that they are doing it.  That is Team Venezuela so they thought about me to come and drive their car, which they negotiated with Andretti to work together this season.

“Team Viso is something that I have done for years now it’s almost two years that I’ve been helping Venezuelan drivers pretty much when they are starting to do those first steps into that professional level.  I’ve been around them and giving them all my advice, helping them with their sponsors back home.  I have been in that position myself many years ago.  I’m probably the difficult one where you see a kid and you really don’t know if you should do it.  If you really like it pretty much is focusing all those attention ideas and efforts into one direction.  That is why you can see in the Indy Lights this year there are going to be probably two or three Venezuelan drivers in the Mazda.  There is Diego (Ferreira) he won already his first race last weekend in Austin.  I’m very excited about it.  This is a way that I thought about bringing something back to my country very proudly and I feel very lucky person that I have been able to race for so many years having the back-up from my own country.  From sponsors from there, from companies, from everyone, so I think this is the least I can do for my own country is to help some other coming drivers trying to make it.”

IS THERE A POSSIBILITY IN THE LONG TERM TO SEE A RACE IN VENEZUELA SOMEWHERE?
“I want to. Of course Venezula is a country that has been going through a lot of changes in the last year, especially now.  That has been an idea that I had for years.  You can go and ask the guys in IndyCar I have been every year I bring up the idea.  I haven’t forgotten about it.  I am going to make it happen for sure I will.  I need to wait.  It is a big effort.  A lot of money, a lot of organization happening around, soon you are going to see me, you are going to be invited.  I’m going to pay your business class from Germany (laughs).”

IS THERE A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP IN VENEZUELA SIMILAR TO WHAT IS GOING ON IN AMERICA?
“Yeah, there is plenty of racing going on in Venezuela.  You can see that they are pretty much a driver in every single category around the world including Formula 1, IndyCar, NASCAR, there is a driver that did a few races last year in the Road Courses.  GP2, Mazda, Indy Lights so racing is growing back home.  Of course we need to start from the fundamentals that it’s racing in our own country.  Which is happening probably not in the level it should be happening.  That is growing it’s coming.”

ANY YOUNG DRIVERS IN YOUR COUNTRY?
“That is what I have been doing.  I just explained about the Team Viso. That is something that I have been doing and I’m going to keep doing.”

SO YOU HAD ONE DAY ON THE TRACK AT SEBRING WITH MICHAEL CANNON YOUR NEW ENGINEER HOW DID THAT GO?  WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN THIS TEST?
“First of all for me it’s very refreshing to be with a team that they are not only successful in racing because they can prove it.  My new team Ryan (Hunter-Reay) just won the championship and I really know all the effort that is behind it.  They not only see the technical side of racing, but they really understand each of the part of the puzzle, marketing, merchandising, media, attention to the sponsors, all of those things are very well taken care of.  It’s really refreshing when I stepped into the team and we started going through things.  You really feel that they are pushing every single aspect.  My sponsors, my partners, my group, Team Venezuela guys, everybody is really excited and looking forward.  Sebring so far has been the only day I have been interacting in the track with the team.  It was a good day.  I think a day that it was new for all of us.  It was a brand new car, new engineer, new driver, new crew, everything was new and we believe it was successful one.  That is only the beginning.  We just getting ready tomorrow and after tomorrow we are going to be on track.  Definitely we have a lot of work to do.”

HOW WILL YOU MEASURE SUCCESS NOW WITH THIS NEW TEAM? 

“I think you can measure success when you as a driver, you as a person and you as an individual feel that you truly gave your best.  Sometimes I’ve been feeling successful even if I finish not in a great position in the race, but you feel that you gave everything you have.  Those were the resources I had at that point.  I think this year I’m definitely going to be counting with a way stronger organization, partners and team.  I think we are going to be able to be so much closer to the front.  I’ve can already feel some podiums coming.  These guys they work super strong, super hard with the strategies.  I have pretty much won races in every single category I have been in the past except in IndyCar.  I want to make that one happen.”

YOU SAID STRATEGIES; DO YOU KNOW WHO YOUR STRATEGIST WILL BE?
“As of now ‘Ziggy” is going to be helping me Paul Harcus.  For sure he has the experience.  He has done it for a number of years.  I’m sure Michael Andretti is going to be surrounding the timing stand.  This is a team that they work very closely with the four entries.”

WHAT YEAR DID YOU SAY TEAM VENEZUELAN GOT YOU WHEN YOU DROVE FIRST?
“1990. Almost 23 years ago.  That was my birthday present.  I will be turning 28 on the 19th.  That was my birthday present when I turned 5. That was my present they took me to this go kart track and I drove around.  Before I drove a little go kart I drove in the lap of this guy Vicente which now is the owner, director of Team Venezula.”

YOU BECAME A MUCH MORE CONSISTENT DRIVER LAST YEAR.  WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THIS SEASON?
“I think that I’m in a position that I need to be trusting the team.  I think they do have every single resource to make good things happen.  I know and I don’t need to say, but I know I have the speed because I have proven it.  I am right now I probably just need to find a stable path with them and just really attack when I should.  That is something that I am going to be counting with is the strong team that is always going to be behind me.  As of now that is what I’ve been feeling and seeing inside this organization.”

About Chevrolet

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year.  Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

Source: Team Chevy, Press Release




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