AGUSTIN CANAPINO, No. 78 Juncos-Hollinger Racing Chevrolet:
THE MODERATOR: It is time for Agustin Canapino who returns for a second season in the NTT INDYCAR Series, driver of the No. 78 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet. Agustin of course 15-time touring car champion in Argentina, back here near for a second year. We’re all wondering how your English has improved since last year’s content day when you only had three or four months of English lessons then. Now you can probably read an entire dictionary, right?
AGUSTIN CANAPINO: I remember this moment one year ago. Oh, my God.
Q. The pressure was on.
AGUSTIN CANAPINO: It was a lot, more than the Indy 500 qualification.
Q. Tell us about the off-season and getting ready for a second season with Juncos Hollinger Racing.
AGUSTIN CANAPINO: I am really excited, especially by the way we finished the season, because we were battling for a podium on the last race in Laguna just before the crash. We were fourth, and we were in a really good position to battle for the race.
We did really good moments during the year. We achieved decent results for our first season in INDYCAR. We entered in the leader circles with the two cars. First time ever Juncos had two cars in a season, first time ever for me, so I’m really happy with the season so far.
But we want more, and I think we have a really good opportunity this year to continue our improvement, continue both with the team and especially with Romain in the team.
I think we have a really good opportunity to learn from him everything and continue this process.
Q. How much more relaxed are you heading into a second season, or are you relaxed?
AGUSTIN CANAPINO: I don’t know if relaxed is the correct sentence. I think now I know more what I have to do because now I have the way to prepare my physical, my races. I learn a lot about the car, the tires, the brakes, the way to manage the races, the other drivers, the rules. I learn a lot, everything.
Of course it’s only the beginning, but now I have an idea what I have to do.
Q. A couple tracks you went to twice last year, IMS, the road course. What’s a track you’re champing at the bit saying I can’t wait to get back there for a second time? And secondly, your relationship with Romain, when did you meet him? Was it this past season? Did you talk during the year or did you meet each other when you became teammates?
AGUSTIN CANAPINO: Every track will be important for me because every time will be the second time, and I learn a lot from the first to the second. But definitely the Indy 500 is unique. These two weeks are unique. It’s impressive. It’s amazing. It’s impossible to explain, like a driver, like a fan, because I was a fan outside two years ago.
For me, it will be amazing to be there again knowing what I have to do, knowing the situation, in the car, in the oval. Definitely the Indy 500 will be an amazing experience.
With Romain, imagine when he was driving in Formula 1 I was driving in my country with touring cars. I watched him my entire life driving in the top series in the world, and it’s a big opportunity for me, for me and the team, because I knew the team is small. I knew, too, he has a lot of experience, a lot of achievement during his career, and I think we have a really good opportunity to learn from him.
He’s a really good guy, and I have no doubts we will do a really good team to try to grow together with the team.
Q. You and I had a conversation last spring at Barber where you said, all I want is another year in INDYCAR after this one. How much of a relief is it to be back in INDYCAR for another year, and how have your expectations changed compared from last year to this year?
AGUSTIN CANAPINO: It’s totally different. My focus on my mind is totally different. I remember, again, when I was in the same situation here on the content day. I am totally surprised for everything, especially this situation with the series, with the journalists, with the team, with the language. Now I can think, I want to achieve good results. Of course. We don’t pretend miracles. We don’t forget we are a small and new team. But in INDYCAR you can battle.
You can see my last race we were really good the world race battling with the top teams, the top teams, so sometimes you can battle with them. But I want to continue, to continue my improvement, step by step.
Okay, the last year we were in the leader circles, we were sometimes close to doing a top 10. Okay, I want to be there again in the leader circle and I want to make some top 10s.
And why not one race like Laguna or Iowa too where we were good car battling with the top teams? Why not achieve a better result than the top 10.
This is my mentality for this year, but again, trying to don’t lose my calm, try to keep the calm and continue step by step.
Inside Track Communications PR