After scoring a top-10 in each event last year, Sting Ray Robb returns for a second campaign of Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires competition.
As the Team Pelfrey driver got ready for the season opener at St. Petersburg, he took some time to offer his thoughts to POPULAR OPEN WHEEL.
POPULAR OPEN WHEEL: What are your thoughts going into St. Petersburg this weekend?
STING RAY ROBB: I’m just really excited. We’ve done a lot of testing, and the team has done really well. They’ve been helping me improve a lot, and I think that we have a good run going and I’m just looking forward to getting the season started.
POW: What’s the biggest challenge about St. Petersburg?
ROBB: The walls are definitely intimidating at times. But once you get around that, the track is a great atmosphere.
POW: What does it mean going into this year with the experience you were able to get last year at St. Petersburg?
ROBB: Last year was a learning year, overall. I kind of learned everything that I could just going into the event. This year, now we know what to do and I know what to expect from the event, just meeting the different personalities in the paddock I’ve learned how to handle that side as it’ll be less than last year. But racing wise, I think all of the same principles apply on a road course that apply on a street course – same technique, driving style – you just have to figure how to flex it around the wall a little bit.
POW: On that note, what are your thoughts going into this year beyond this weekend?
ROBB: Well, we know that we have to be consistent. We have to take our lumps when we have to, and be quick as much as the time as we can. We’re just focused on not getting into a pit and keeping our heads up through the season.
POW: What track are you most excited to get to?
ROBB: Portland – the finale this year, is really the closest track that we have to where I live in so it’ll be nice to go there and have a few fans that I know at the track with us.
POW: What’s the biggest thing that you learned last year?
ROBB: I think its confidence. I learned how to have confidence in myself as a driver, even when it’s difficult. Having that experience now, I can keep my head up a little more and fight through things a little better.
POW: Having some fun, and letting the fans get to know, who is your racing hero?
ROBB: There’s so many great people and drivers out there. So I’m not sure that I have one racing hero. But I’d always looked to the drivers in the IndyCar paddock and watched them to see what they do, and try to not mimic but put my own twist on it.
POW: On that note, what would it mean for you to get to that level one day?
ROBB: It’s always been my dream, but I feel like now is the closest I’ve ever been to having that as a tangible thing. It’s a really thought to think that I’m right here in the Mazda Road to Indy, and IndyCar is just a couple steps away. It’d be an amazing feeling to get up into the top rank of motorsport.
POW: What’s your favorite food?
ROBB: Oh my. I’m a foodie. There’s so many good foods. I always like a good steak – meat and potatoes are my thing. But pastas, salads, seafood – whatever; I’ll eat it. But, yeah, if I had to choose, I would say a good steak.
POW: On the flip side, what’s the least favorite food?
ROBB: I had alligator once and that was pretty disgusting.
POW: I can’t say that I’ve had that, or would even try it. Dream vacation spot?
ROBB: Camping in Hells Canyon with my family on the fourth of July.
POW: What’s your favorite TV show?
ROBB: I liked Top Gear when they had the old Top Gear. But now I’d say – I’m into a lot of sports, so I don’t know. I can’t answer that one.
POW: If you were stuck on an island, what are three things that you must have?
ROBB: I just answered this a week ago. I would say duct tape, one of those 50 gallon barrels of jerky, and one of those water purifiers. That’s what I would take.
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