Indycar - Dreyer And Reinbold Conference
Indianapolis, Nov. 27, 2011: Dreyer & Reinbold team owners Dennis Reinbold and Robbie Buhl were guests on today's INDYCAR conference call. The pair discussed the team's decision to join Lotus for 2012 and its plans for the upcoming season./p>
Q. What do you gentlemen like in Lotus? Why did you make this move with them particularly?
ROBBIE BUHL: Well, I think one of the things, as I said at the opening, you know, their focus of how they are going to rebrand their sports car and how they promote that and market that is going to be through the IndyCar program.
So they are going to be pretty vested in doing everything they can to make sure their teams are successful and healthy. I mean, that's a good thing from a commercial side of it.
But they are an engineering company. And to tap into the resources of what they already have in place and kind of on the payroll there, we are hoping that that really provides us some additional engineering support as we continue, as Dennis said, as we kind of are rebranding ourselves Team Lotus, DRR and really kind of going under a different initiative here of really strengthening our engineering department and kind of building out from the technical and engineering side of our company, and then complementing it with just a good operations department and commercial department.
Q. You talk about engineering changes. Obviously that means Larry Curry, it was announced he won't be returning next year. So when you say looking to bolster the engineering side, does that mean having additional IndyCar engineers or Lotus engineers or both? And do you know when there will be an announcement?
DENNIS REINBOLD: We have one guy starting next week, and he's going to be basically a systems type of engineer. So he will be overseeing the entire technical package and componentry just to make sure everything we touch is assembled as well as we can get it.
And so we are going to do quite a bit of testing coming up. So it's going to be a pretty test intensive off season, so we are really looking forward to getting on track, as well as getting our guys to touch and measure and look all over the new chassis to figure out what makes it tick so we can go a little quicker.
And we will be adding some other people. I know earlier on it was said that we are going to be two full time cars and one more at Indy, that's still up in the air. We have not signed a driver yet. That's something that Robbie and I are working on right now, and we are hoping to take care of that the next few weeks.
And we don't know if we are going to be one or two cars. We would like to be two cars, and we are set up for that. So that's our goal.
Q. Dennis, you've acknowledged that you didn't have the greatest year in 2011, so there's a bit of a performance gap that needs to be closed, but you're also working with an engine manufacturer that's new to the series. So once you get on track you and start testing, what is the priority? Speed or reliability?
DENNIS REINBOLD: Both, obviously, are important. The reliability is something that we'll work closely in testing with Lotus. Hopefully that's not an issue, and we can focus more on speed. That's a little more fun to work on.
But yeah, you try to make sure that all of the like Robbie said before, until you get the cars out on the track and until we lineup at St. Pete, there's a lot of unknowns that are going to come into the 2012 season, not just for us, but for the entire field. You do the best you can in testing and you trust that Lotus, as well as Honda and Chevy are going to make a good product, as well as Dallara, and it's going to be raceable. So you go out and do whatever you can.
We'll probably the reliability is going to fall upon Lotus more so than us, and then the speed out of the car is going to fall on us more than Lotus. Although Lotus will help us with the chassis development as well.
Q. One more question for you. You guys have both been in the series for more than a decade as tea, owners and principles. There's definitely an excitement for the new engine and chassis package in 2012. Can you recall a time in your tenure as owners in the series, which stretches back to 1999 and 2000, where there has been, A, this much change, and B, this much excitement about an equipment package? We have had equipment packages before during your time but doesn't seem to be as extensive as maybe the new package for 2012. Do you have any comments on that?
DENNIS REINBOLD: Yeah, I think it's most exciting time that I remember. We have three engine manufacturers coming in, and a brand new chassis, and that's all happening at one time.
And then we're a year away from a body kit package that each of the manufacturers, it looks like, will design for the car. So we are going to have plenty of challenges facing us.
This past year was great in a lot of ways. We had incredible crowds at most of our races. And so there's a lot to build on for 2012. We have got some pretty good momentum. I know our TV ratings are up significantly over where they have been.
We work hard to just kind of keep our head down and control what is within our control and working with our sponsors, there's a level of excitement that they have as we go forward to a brand new opportunity in 2012.
ROBBIE BUHL: And another variable that's going to be kind of new to us is and not new to everybody, but we are going back to turbo charged motor. They are a smaller displacement. We are going to the V 6. So that's a big thing just historically looking back.
But this whole idea of maybe controlling the horsepower of the cars as we transition from short ovals to big ovals to street and road courses I think really is going to be an interesting twist to how we manage our product and how it looks on track. It's going to be exciting.
2. IZOD IndyCar Series and Mazda Road to Indy drivers celebrate Thanksgiving: IZOD IndyCar Series driver Jay Howard, Star Mazda drivers Nick Mancuso and Zach Veach, and USF2000 driver Shannon McIntosh shared their plans for Thanksgiving with IndyCar.com.
NICK MANCUSO: Typically, my hometown friends and I start the festivities with a "Turkey Bowl" flag-that-becomes-tackle football game Thursday morning. Then we descend upon our respective homes and I try my best to help/stay out of my Mom's way as she cooks up a storm. My parents' house has always been the traditional gathering place, with anywhere from 10-25 people showing up hungry and ready to eat.
JAY HOWARD: I will be at my wife Courtney's parents' house eating tons and watching NFL in the man cave! I am actually also playing some flag football as well!
ZACH VEACH: Fortunately, I am going to be home for Thanksgiving this year. It's always real special for me to spend time catching up with my close and distant family. I'm always thankful for how supportive they are—they constantly surprise me with how much they know about the racing world! Going to my grandparent's house for dinner with the whole family is my favorite tradition. It's just a day to slow down, enjoy the company and get embarrassed by all of the stories about the things I did when I was little.
SHANNON McINTOSH: Unfortunately I won't be able to make it back to Ohio for Thanksgiving and this will be the first time I have spent this holiday away from family. :( With so many things going on, I opted to wait a few weeks to see them at Christmas time. I will however, be spending it with my trainer and family in St. Pete.
I typically do a five mile run called the Turkey Trot with my Grandpa on Thanksgiving morning in my hometown of Miamisburg, Ohio. It's a great way to start the day and forget about having to be guilty when you eat later in the day!