The expectations are high - Jan Heylen

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Jan Heylen, the Belgian Champ Car driver of the Conquest Racing Team, is looking forward to his home race this weekend at Zolder. During the press conference of the Belgian Champ Car Grand Prix, I had an interview with this talented driver.

What do you expect from the first Champ Car race in Europe?

"The expectations are high, but of course you have to stay realistic. The last race in Road America, I finished 6th, what was a very good result for me and the team. The car keeps improving, so I hope for a top 5 finish here in Zolder."

This weekend you'll race for your home crowd. Are you looking forward to see your Belgian fans again?

"Absolutely! It's something really special to return to Zolder at the highest level and this in front of all my friends and family."

Do you believe that the organisers made the right choice to keep the Champ Car GP at Zolder and not at Francorchamps?

"All the people involved in Champ Car and the organisers here in Belgium have considered all the possible options and they decided to organise the race at Zolder. I really believe that they made the right decision. Zolder fits perfectly in the picture of Champ Car."

In Champ Car, the fans can get really close to the drivers and the cars. This is completely different than Formula One. Do you believe that this is one of the strengths of Champ Car?

"Yes. It's hard to explain that here in Europe, but the car and the drivers are very accessible and this determines the atmosphere of the Series."

What is, in the technical area, specific for Champ Car?

"Specific is the 'Push-to-pass'. It's a system that they don't have in Formula One or any other series. The push-to-pass system is a button we have on our steering wheel and when we push it, the horsepower limit gets a boost of 75hp. During the whole race, we have 60 seconds to use the push-to-pass system and we can use them whenever we want. Of course it's important to save as much seconds of push-to-pass as possible until the end of the race."

What are the top speeds in Champ Car?

"Here in Zolder it will be a bit lower as the track isn't as long as the American Circuits. I think the top speeds will be around 300km/h this weekend. On circuits that are longer than the one in Zolder it will be around 330km/h."

When all of the drivers were introduced earlier on during the press conference, you could see that everybody was getting along very well. Is this also something typical for Champ Car?

"Yes, it's a big difference with the race series here in Europe. All of the drivers in Champ Car have a good contact with each other. We go out to diner together, we go cycling,.... It's really a very special atmosphere."

Special thanks to Jan Heylen