Sunday, 16 October 2016

Conor Daly interview: IndyCar racer talks about first GRC test

Following the conclusion of the 2016 Red Bull Global Rallycross season in Los Angeles, Olsbergs Honda stayed behind to complete a test and media day.

The day of running allowed the team to lay down some laps, and give IndyCar racer Conor Daly a chance to sample a rallycross car for the first time.

I spoke to Daly afterwards to hear his thoughts on the Olsbergs Honda Civic Global Rallycross car.

Conor Daly Interview

Dominik Wilde: How did the opportunity to test the Civic first come about?

Conor Daly: I have a great relationship with Honda and I’ve always had an interest in getting into a GRC car so they were able to make it happen for me. They saw it as a great PR opportunity and a perfect chance for me to get a taste of the car and make a cool video out of it at the same time.

Dominik Wilde: What were your first impressions of the car?

Conor Daly: The car obviously has incredible all-wheel drive torque off the line but I was actually really impressed with how well it handled on tarmac. It obviously looks like a rally car so it looks like it should be a little sloppy on pavement but great on dirt when it was in fact great on both surfaces.

Dominik Wilde: Did you speak to Joni, Sebastian, or Mitchell before driving? Did they give you any pointers?

Conor Daly: I spoke to the whole Red Bull Honda OMSE team all weekend. I wanted to know everything I could about the car before I got in it because I know chances to get in these cars don’t happen often. They are all great drivers and really helpful dudes!

Dominik Wilde: How does it compare to your IndyCar?

Conor Daly: I’d have to say they are totally different. They make grip in completely different ways. The GRC car feels so soft because the suspension obviously has to deal with 2 different surfaces AND a jump. But the amount of grip when the car feels like it’s almost on 3 wheels is incredible. The IndyCar is a very stiff platform with a lot of aerodynamic grip compared to the GRC car which almost purely relies on mechanical grip.

Dominik Wilde: Have you been following the GRC season this year?

Conor Daly: I have been following it because Scott Speed is a good friend and has always been encouraging when I need it my career! I’ve also always been a fan of the style of racing; I think it’s a lot of fun.

Dominik Wilde: What are the chances of you racing in GRC next year or further along in the future?

Conor Daly: I think I have to be open to anything at this point. I’m obviously focusing on getting back into IndyCar but you just never know what’ll happen so I’d definitely take an opportunity in GRC should one present itself.

Image: Bet Kelley, IndyCar Media

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