EC: What has been the most emotionally satisfying win since the program really got its start in 2006?
GR: Le Mans has a very special place in my heart. My first trip was in 1969 as a spectator and I remember two things: During practice, I was standing up against the fence and this guy wearing dark glasses and a cap was on the other side. He came up to me and asked me the time. Then he took his glasses off, and it was Steve McQueen. And then the horrendous accident with John Woolfe in the 917 during the first lap.
EC: As for 2006?
GR: That was a great year for us because we won absolutely everything. And then in 2007 to hit water and go off when we had a four- or five-lap lead... In fact, McNish was right behind in the Audi R10 and said if the Ferrari hadn't gone off, he would have gone off instead. Going back to 2004, we won the IMSA team prize with the 360, so that was promising, and then to have a season like 2006, one of our best years... we won nine races out of ten. Then we went back in 2008 and won again.
EC: Do you consider this season an anomaly with some of the things that have happened on the shorter races? When the car is so good in an endurance race and then the nagging things that have happened in the sprint races?
GR: Yes, we had a couple of those. In St. Petersburg we had a wishbone issue. The suspension didn't break, it just had bolt problems. Whether it was over-tight or not tight enough, or a shim broke loose, it happens. So that sidelined us, and then we had another issue at Long Beach.
EC: You have some good guys overall, the difference between parts replacers and true mechanics.
GR: These men really know this car. Look at the preparation, for example. Guys make the components themselves. I mean, this is Formula One stuff that we're using out there.
EC: Are you in the process of looking at what it's going to take to come back in 2010?
GR: We've been looking at 2010 for the last five months to see what we can come up with.
EC: Have we reached a point in motorsport finance where we've over-extended the projection of what it takes?
GR: We have to a certain extent. But it really isn't the car itself. It's the travel, hotels. And Le Mans is a killer. You get there three weeks before and stay in one of those little ratty hotels for €60, then you go back race week and it's €220 and a minimum stay of ten nights, whether you like it or not.
EC: How many people are in your crew that travel to La Sarthe?
GR: We took, I think, 18, and then we had some guys from England, a few extra. Probably a crew of about 23, which you need for a 24-hour race. Because it's so intense, people get worn out.
EC: There aren't many teams in America, or for that matter worldwide, that do well in GT or sports car racing. What does it take today, or what advice would you give someone who wants to go racing?
GR: Too many people try to take shortcuts. The person providing the finances often does not have the knowledge or ability to control the situation, even though that person may be very clever. They don't have enough knowledge about the racing side of the business. It doesn't mean that the guy running the team is putting money in his pocket. He's just making the wrong decisions. I question everything, every single thing. I open all my mail, everything that comes across my desk. Every single thing, they've got to tell me about it.
EC: Accountability is an extremely important factor in your success.
GR: No question. You've got to have accountability; otherwise things can run amok. I want to know how much it's going to cost, I want to know what it's going to do, and whether it's going to improve us.
For example, get your trucks serviced before they leave. If I have to spend $2,000, I spend it here. I don't want to get a call from El Paso telling me something has happened. Because it's going to cost the same to repair it in El Paso, but you're going to be two days off the road and you're going to be frenzied. It starts with taking care of your equipment.