ec: Right out of the box you've been quick in the GT3, quick enough to have a pair of first-in-class wins for the season's start. Great teamwork and strategy are all part of it, but you still came in with limited experience in a Porsche. Again, does this go back to your varied background and why you can adjust so quickly?
BL: If I would have only had experience with formula cars or prototypes and then tried to jump in the Porsche, I think I would have hung up my helmet. I've definitely had to draw from my experiences in all manner of cars, from the Nissan GTU cars I drove in the early '90s, to Trans-Am and NASCAR. When you drive a prototype, the car corners very flat. The Porsche, however, rolls over like a sailboat. I'm sure that the engineers in Weissach won't appreciate my saying that [laughs]. But it takes a completely different driving style to hustle a Lola around Sebring than a GT3.
ec: I was at Le Mans when you were on the podium after finishing third in the Bentley. For many in the crowd (and around the world) that result was THE race. Even moreso as you were in a Bottle Green car wearing number 8. Bentley got the overall victory a few years later, but it's the number 8 from 2001 that has been used in almost all the advertising and promotions for Crewe. It's been nine years; how do you look back at that adventure today?
BL: The Bentley was really something special. It's not often that you can feel the crowd pushing you on. There were so many Brits who came over for Bentley's return to Le Mans, and there was a sea of green Bentley flags around the circuit. When we were on the podium, I was almost embarrassed with how much the crowd was cheering for us. It was a great team to drive for. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it was not just an Audi with a roof, but a bespoke design, penned by an Englishman, built in England, crewed by Brits. It wasn't done on an enormous budget, and we were going up against the might of Audi, so there was a kind of classic British underdog aura about the team. I'm very proud that I was one of the Bentley Boys.
Luis Diaz: A time of transition - prototype to GT
Today's pro drivers have learned not to take anything for granted. Unlike other sports, a winning season in motorsport does not carry the promise of continuation. The good ones have learned to adapt and adjust. Luis Diaz is such a driver, one who set records last season with Adrian Fernandez and the Lowe's Acura team with the Acura ARX-01b LMP in the ALMS. An extremely talented prototype driver, Diaz has found the change to GT this season somewhat of a challenge.
ec: You ended last season with one of the great drives in the history of Laguna Seca, and to many, it established you firmly as a top-tier prototype driver. This season you have returned to the ALMS aboard a Porsche GT3, and this has been somewhat of a surprise. How did that come about?
LD: I think it was destiny [laughs]. I worked very hard during the off-season, spent months searching for an opportunity, and to be honest, I thought that I was not going to be racing this year. Two weeks before Sebring I received a call from Juan Gonzalez to see if I wanted to be part if his project along with his nephew, Ricardo, who was a good friend of mine from the go-kart days. That's how I'm here racing today.
ec: Based on your competition history, it's been open-wheel such as Formula Atlantic, Formula 3, Indy Lights, and Champ Car, or in prototypes. A GT3 is about as agricultural as a racecar can be. I assume this is a whole new learning curve for you, so what are the obvious differences in making the transition?