INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 5, 2013) – National Guard Panther Racing driver Ryan Briscoe joined Graham Rahal for a single-day test on multiple configurations of the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Read below Briscoe’s first-hand thoughts from his media availability following his first run in the No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet.

So what was it like running out there?
It’s really strange coming the wrong way on the front stretch. It’s a pretty good track actually; it’s got a lot of high-speed corners. Turn 13, the oval Turn One, is really fast with a really high load in the steering wheel and it’s just very different from what we do when we’re here just running the 2.5-mile oval. It’s a very different feeling even just going the opposite direction. It’s just great to back in the Panther car. I didn’t think I’d be back in an IndyCar again for quite a while, so it’s a good little bonus of mid week fun for me.

Was there a particular part you enjoyed? Would you make changes to the course?
I think it’s a good road course. There are a couple of areas where you come down in the middle stretch into, I’m not sure what the corner numbers are, but it’s a fast corner and it would make passing very difficult. If you extended that and kind of made it come down into a tighter corner it would probably help with racing a little bit. We’re already running a variation of Turn One, where we’ve just painted some lines out into the middle of the road so it’s a harder braking zone and I think we could even make that tighter for better racing. The layout of the course itself is really nice and it’s a fun track to drive; it’s fast and it’s pretty physical as well.

If they decide to have this race, when would you like to see it?
When they tell me to get in the car. (laughs) I’ve heard rumors it’ll be at the beginning of May to kick the month off and that would be fine. Anytime we have here at Indy would be great.

With the track a little wider would that make for better racing here?
Since this new car came last year the racing has just gotten so much better, and it seems like we’re getting more and more confident in each race. I mean that last couple of races have just been insane. In Sonoma, it was crazy. For a track that everyone used to say you just could not pass on, and it used to just be a procession, a couple of weeks ago was the most fun I’ve ever had in an IndyCar. The racing was crazy.

And watching Baltimore on TV, it was so good. It was a shame about the pile-ups in Turn One because the rest of the event was just so good to watch. I was on the top of my seat at home just so excited for it. I think you’d see the same thing here. These days with this car we can make good racing anywhere we go.

Could an IndyCar do more passing here and race better than Grand-Am Cars?

I theory Grand-Am cars should race better here because they don’t have as much downforce, but I think we’ve been proving that wrong with the IndyCar this year. It’s hard to compare. I think a lot it comes down to the tire that you run, what kind of marbling it forms on the line, what sort of drop off you have. I think that has a lot more to do with whether the racing is good or not, more so that just the car or the layout.

But that’s what we’re doing today. I think we’re going to try a couple of different tire compounds with Firestone and we’re going to try a couple of different layouts with the circuit and just try and get a good idea of what would work best for us if we do decide to race here in the future.

How are the transitions between the different types of pavement?

It’s pretty smooth, really. We’ve drawn some lines as you come onto the oval in the short-shoot between (turns) one and two, and we’re transitioning at a part in the track where there is hardly any banking so it’s quite nice. Even up here when you turn off and it feels like your going down hill into the first corner it’s really smooth. It’s really not a problem at all.

Certainly the oval portion of the track has more grip, but the only thing we’re doing there is flat out in the oval section and then heavy braking for the corner. And having lots of grip under braking could be good for giving guys confidence in late braking moves. - -