1) I enjoyed watching you race three times last year in Indycar at Mid Ohio, Sonoma, and Baltimore. It was great to watch from the sofa. How did things go from your seat in the cockpit and if you could do things over, would you do anything differently?
MP: Those 3 races went as well as they could have gone considering how little testing that I had and where the team was in terms of overall performance. I felt that from Sonoma onwards I was already on par with Tags if not a notch ahead in terms of race pace. My only regret would be the mistake I made during my last pitstop in Baltimore as that cost me a top 6 finish. I think I showed the right people that I have what it takes to be successful.
|He did great in his first couple of races in Indycar|
2) It was a long off-season and, unfortunately, nothing came together for you in Indycar by time St. Petersburg came along, which made me a sad person. Were you frustrated, surprised, disappointed, etc.? How did you feel when nothing came together?
MP: Based on how much positive momentum we had coming off of those three races and the talks we were having, I was maybe a little frustrated that something didn't come together, but not surprised, as we had a very real chance and was quite some way down the road in talks. Racing as you know is so much more than what happens on the track and unfortunately you need a lot more than just skill to make it onto the grid. Some of the best drivers in the world like Junquiera have been out of Indycar for some time now, only because of funding. You need to be positioned with a great marketing team who can help find sponsorship or align yourself with a team who jointly pursue sponsorship with you.
3) But then on a positive note, you signed with Conquest Racing for ALMS! How did this deal come together and is this a long term gig you have or just a short term (one-two year) thing?
MP: Patrick Long, a friend of mine since Karts, called me to say that he was helping to put together a deal for a friend of his, David Heinemeir-Hansson who wanted to step up to the P2 class in ALMS and needed a 'Pro' driver to partner with him. He knew that I was looking around and called me out of the blue. When Patrick calls you to offer career advice, he's the kind of guy you had better listen to! I have a lot of respect for him, so it was easy advice to take. So far I'm having a lot of fun with Eric and his team and we get along very well - it's a good team. I don't know what the future holds, but I hope that I can grow with his team and follow him wherever he goes racing either in ALMS, IndyCar or both!
|He looks like he is ready to inhale some people on the track|
4) Thinking long term, as in years from now, is your ultimate goal to get back into the IZOD Indycar Series full time? And is it too early to tell if you'll be in The 2013 Indianapolis 500?
MP: My ultimate goal is to continute to be a professional racing driver wherever that takes me. I understand that I am extremely lucky to do what I do and never take it for granted. I would love to one day race at and win the Indy 500, but so far I am having a lot of fun in ALMS. It's a great series too with a very strong sponsor base. If I could do both series, would that be too greedy to ask?
5) The staple question on the Fast Five is have you ever sneezed, sighed, or anything else that would be considered obscure whilst driving a race car?
MP: Flatuation. That does NOT blow away at 200mph...
Thanks so much to Martin for the interview, and also to his PR, Nicole, for helping me out a lot! Really appreciate it!