In Case You Missed It: Ryan Briscoe, Bobby Wilson teleconference Target Chip Ganassi Racing aligns with Integra Motorsports to field Firestone Indy Lights team IndyCar Series opener scores record rating on ESPN2 1. In Case You Missed It: Ryan Briscoe, Bobby Wilson teleconference: IndyCar Series driver Ryan Briscoe and Firestone Indy Lights driver Bobby Wilson were guests on today’s Indy Racing League teleconference. Background on Ryan Briscoe: Ryan Briscoe is competing in his second full season in the IndyCar Series, and his first driving for Team Penske. · Age: 26 (Birthday is Sept. 24, 1981) · Career Starts / 2007: 20 / 1 · Career Victories/2007: 0 · Career Top-Five Finishes/2007: 2 / 1 · Career Top-10 Finishes/2007: 6 / 1 · Career Poles/2007: 1 / 0 · Career Highlights: Made 14 IndyCar Series starts for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2005, winning the pole at Infineon and leading laps at Infineon and St. Petersburg. Recorded a career-best third-place finish at Watkins Glen in 2006. · 2007 Highlights: Finished fifth in the Indianapolis 500, his only IndyCar Series start of the season. Finished second in American Le Mans Series’ LMP2 Class for Penske Racing. Recorded two overall wins and a class win at St. Petersburg. · Off the track: Avid fan of watersports. Enjoys waterskiing, wake boarding and wake surfing. Background on Bobby Wilson: Bobby Wilson is competing in his third full season in Firestone Indy Lights, driving for Team E. · Age: 26 (Birthday is Oct. 6, 1981) · Career Starts / 2007: 32 / 16 · Career Victories/2007: 2 / 1 · Career Top-Five Finishes/2007: 12 / 5 · Career Top-10 Finishes/2007: 23 / 10 · Career Poles/2007: 1 / 0 · Career Highlights: Finished fourth overall in Firestone Indy Lights in 2006 and 2007. First series victory came at Watkins Glen in 2006. Won the Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Series championship in 2004 and captured the Stars of Karting championship in 2003. · 2007 Highlights: Finished fourth in Firestone Indy Lights. Earned his second career victory on the road course at Indianapolis, leading all 18 laps. · Off the track: Serves as a driving instructor at Ocala Gran Prix, an outdoor karting facility in Ocala, Fla. Background on Streets of St. Petersburg: The IndyCar Series will compete on the Streets of St. Petersburg for the fourth consecutive season. Team Penkse’s Helio Castroneves has won the last two races. They said what...? Listed below are select quotes from today’s teleconference, with the approximate time code from the audio MP3 in parentheses. ***Q: You're new to the IndyCar Series side of the Team Penske operation, but were with the team last year on the ALMS side. How are things developing as far as the IndyCar side guys and communication with the team members and even with Helio, your teammate? RYAN BRISCOE (15:30): It's going great. As you mentioned last year, racing at Penske for the ALMS program, I've got to know everyone, and I actually got to know a lot of the IndyCar guys, and especially my mechanic, Tom German. We got to know each other really well last year already spending time away from the circuit. I was coming into a group of people where I'm already feeling pretty comfortable and our working relationship has been spot on. I'm really happy, and we're understanding each other really well, and it's just perfect. And Helio, he's just been great. For a guy that's been at Penske for so long and had so much success, he's really made me feel so welcomed and a part of the team, and that's perfect for me being new. So really good feeling here at Penske. ***Q. Of course you have a lot of experience at St. Pete, is there anything besides track knowledge that you can transfer over from ALMS to St. Pete, can you transfer that to the IndyCar? RYAN BRISCOE (25:00): First, I raced IndyCars in St. Pete in 2005, and the track has not changed since then other than a little bit of smoothing which I experienced in the Porsche last year. But any track time is valuable because you can't test there, and you just get a better eye for where the bumps are and the apexes of the corners are and so on. I certainly take anything and everything I can, for no matter what car it is and try to put its benefit from ALMS last year, trying to put whatever I learned there to use this year in the IndyCar. And I think they are not really things you can pinpoint, but certainly the track experience is valuable. ***Q: You touched on it a little bit saying the team is ready to win and wants to win this year; but maybe elaborate about goals and expectations for the season overall. BOBBY WILSON (5:30): Well, you have to look at it from my perspective. We are a new team, yes, but there's really only one new factor and that's the team owner, Neil Enerson. Every guy on this team has experience and experience with winning, so to have my goal for the year, obviously it's a championship and it's a realistic expectation. We are not at a disadvantage by any means. Right now I'm looking at the guys working on the car and how nice our stuff looks. All we need is a little luck to go our way and we're going to be up front. ***Q. Good time of the year to have the race there, but the waterfront, the drivers don't see it that much but the fans do; do you have a comment on that? TIM RAMSBERGER (19:30): Yeah, I've said this before that being on the waterfront is both a blessing and a curse in some respects in that it does not provide us for any opportunity for growth in that direction, which is about a quarter to a third of the track area. But I think that's outweighed by the blessing that it is such a picturesque venue. Racing on the airport straightaway provides a certain dynamic for the racers going into the urban setting along First Street with the high‑rises in the area and chicaning all through downtown and opening up on Bayshore by the sailboats and waterfront: I think it just provides such a diverse venue. I think that we probably are quickly becoming known worldwide as being a first‑class venue. There’s more: The complete transcript and complete audio recording in MP3 format are available at www.indycar.com/media. Please contact IRL Public Relations for log-in information if necessary. *** 2. Target Chip Ganassi Racing aligns with Integra Motorsports to field Firestone Indy Lights team: Target Chip Ganassi Racing and newly created Integra Motorsports announced a partnership to campaign Marc Williams in the Firestone Indy Lights Series beginning at the St. Pete 100 April 5-6. Williams will drive the No. 9 Cool Blue Water entry as part of the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. driver development program, adding another level of global appeal to its stable of 12 drivers representing six countries over six series. The 19-year-old New Plymouth, New Zealand native recorded two top-10 finishes in six starts last season. He would like nothing more than to follow the path set by Target IndyCar Series driver and fellow New Zealander Scott Dixon. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Williams said. “Working with a team like Target Chip Ganassi Racing that is seen on a global level is really just an absolute dream come true. I intend on making the most out of this opportunity. Integra Motorsports is ready to get the job done and I think we are all excited about contesting the remainder of the Firestone Indy Lights season.” Brownsburg, Ind.-based Integra Motorsports, which operates under the Team Apex Racing USA banner in the Formula BMW USA Championship, comes to the Firestone Indy Lights Series with a winning heritage of talent including previous A1GP, World Series by Renault and Red Bull Junior driver Robert Wickens of Canada. “Chip (Ganassi) and his teams have a proven track record and a tremendous instinct to spot and develop young talent,” said Integra Motorsports Managing Director David Hunt. “We have the ability to facilitate this process by identifying and preparing that talent for advancement in North America, and we’re looking forward to developing Marc within a successful program and working with Target Chip Ganassi Racing.” The partnership will include technical support from Target Chip Ganassi Racing, which last weekend won the first race of the 2008 IndyCar Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway with Team Target driver Dixon. “We have a tremendous opportunity to partner Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s resources with a young driving talent in Marc,” said Target Chip Ganassi Racing Managing Director Mike Hull. “I think Integra Motorsports recognizes that those resources, coupled with our history for developing young talent, will make for a very exciting opportunity for everyone involved. We expect big things out of this program and are committed to Marc’s development in open wheel racing.” *** 3. IndyCar Series opener scores record rating on ESPN2: ESPN2 earned its highest rating ever for an IndyCar Series race for coverage of Saturday night’s event from Homestead-Miami Speedway, the opening race of the 2008 season and the first event since the recent unification of American open wheel racing. The race also marked the debut of ESPN’s full-season coverage of the series in high definition. ESPN2's race averaged a .8 household coverage rating and 815,070 household impressions, making it ESPN2's highest rated IndyCar Series race ever and the most viewed IndyCar Series race on ESPN or ESPN2 in almost three years. The rating was up from the .7 for last year’s Homestead telecast, previously ESPN2’s highest rating ever for an IndyCar Series event. *** The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on April 6 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. The race will be telecast live by ESPN and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and indycar.com. The 2008 schedule, one of the most diverse in all of motorsports, features races on ovals, permanent road courses and temporary street circuits, all broadcast worldwide through a comprehensive, long-term agreement with ESPN. All races in 2008 will be telecast in High Definition. The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues April 5-6 with a doubleheader weekend at St. Petersburg. The race will be telecast at 2 p.m. (EDT) on April 10 by ESPN2.