ec: It’s interesting that you say it was a disappointment because a lot of teams don’t get to the podium in their first season. Did you just have higher expectations?
JH: I had a lot higher expectations in my anticipation of what the crew would be like and where the cars would be in development and that’s where I really got disappointed. We shot ourselves in the foot so many times in 2006 because of the crew making mistakes, the cars blowing up, it was just one thing after another.
ec: You parked the Volvo and went with Porsche.
JH: At that point I was just wondering if those Volvos would ever be ready so I ordered two Porsche GT3 Cup cars. I wanted to learn more about this but I still wanted to race with Volvo. We ran the GT3 Cup cars in 2007 and 2008 and did very well. In 2009 we brought out the Volvo S60s, and Randy was teamed up with Andy Pilgrim.
ec: Two series champions on the same team? Andy was the go-to guy for Cadillac wasn’t he?
JH: He was. Andy is a fantastic guy on so many different fronts, he is personable in the paddock and he’s fast. He’s a great public speaker. He’s great with the executives and with the fans. We had him for two seasons, and in 2011 he returned to GM.
ec: When you switched from Porsche back to Volvo, what was your decision based on? It could have been 2006 all over again.
JH: I don’t know of any other series, other than rally cars, where you can run an all-wheel-drive car except in GT World Challenge. In addition to GT there is Touring, which is for rear-wheel drive. I wanted to run the model available that would fit into the GT class. The S60 may be all-wheel drive but one of the things I’ve learned running the Porsches is not every race is a rain race. But when it does rain it’s nice to have a car that handles well. The Porsche had more traction than any other car and in 2008 we had three or four races in the wet and we won those because you can drive a Porsche hard in the rain. I knew all-wheel drive had an advantage in corner exits and so forth.
ec: You must have made the decision well in advance, while you were still running the Porsches, to develop the S60.
JH:We did, and while running the Porsches I contacted Gino Effler at Volvo. He said to make a proposal and he would pass it on to the appropriate people. I did and they agreed to help out. Three new S60 bodies were pulled off the assembly line in Sweden and shipped to Colorado.
ec: Were you still working out of the same shop in Colorado?
JH: I switched to 3R Automotive and it was a great move. It’s one of the things I learned in 2006. I was in the paddock at every race and I saw what was going on. If you are going to build a Volvo, these are one-off cars, you need people that can handle the manufacturing of the car, tearing out all the crap you don’t need, putting in all the tubes and everything structural.