Notebook: Herta At Home
March 9, 2006 | 4:34 P.M. EST
"It helps a little, especially in the beginning of the session," said Herta, a two-time open-wheel race winner on the 2.238-mile, 11-corner course. "But those guys learn the track very quickly and I haven’t been there for four or five years myself, so it isn’t like I’ve been running around there lately.
"There will be more expectation on me because of the success I’ve had there and being the American in the U.S. round. I’m ready for that hoping I can bring a win to the U.S. team on home soil."
Twenty-five national teams race identical 520-horsepower open-wheel cars with no electronic driver aids. The penultimate race of the schedule received the final go-ahead March 6 from A1 Grand Prix officials, who had raised concerns about preparation of the facility because of recent heavy rains.
Two weeks ago in Monterrey, Mexico, Herta was leading the feature race by 28 seconds, but a late extended pit stop dropped Team USA to 13th place.
"We had good pace," Herta said. "I had been out of the car for awhile so it was a good warm-up for me going back to Laguna Seca. We had a top-three speed from the car, but unfortunately we had some problems on the pit stop and didn’t get a result to match. Hopefully, we’ll take some of the lessons we’re learned and try to put the whole weekend together and get a good result."
"It helps a little, especially in the beginning of the session, but those guys learn the track very quickly and I haven’t been there for four or five years myself so it isn’t like I’ve been running around there lately. There will be more expectation on me because of the success I’ve had there and being the American in the U.S. round. I’m ready for that hoping I can bring a win to the U.S. team on home soil."
Herta immediately set his sights on the United States A1 Grand Prix of Nations Round. "The Team and I are going to make adjustments before Laguna Seca," said Herta. "We believe we discovered a couple of things here which will help our results in the future."
Patrick Carpentier (Canada) and Tomas Enge (Czech Republic), who competed in the IndyCar Series in 2005, also will drive in this round.
Hornish to attend dinner
Sam Hornish Jr. will attend the Lincoln-Hayes dinner in Bowling Green, Ohio on March 11.
Hornish will attend the event and sit at the head table as a guest of U.S. Rep. Paul Gillmor, the representative from Hornish’s district, the Ohio 5th.
Other tables will be hosted by civic leaders including: Karl Rove, White House Deputy Chief of Staff/Chief Political Advisor to President Bush; Sen. Mike DeWine; Jim
Petro, Ohio Attorney General; Betty Montgomery, Ohio Auditor; Jenette Bradley, Ohio Treasurer; Mary Taylor, Ohio State Representative; Greg Hartman, candidate for Ohio Secretary of State and Bob Cupp, candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court.