Scoring a top-five last year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kory Enders is hopeful of repeating – or bettering – the result this season. Ahead of the race weekend, the DeForce Racing driver shared his thoughts with POPULAR OPEN WHEEL.
POPULAR OPEN WHEEL: What are your thoughts going to the IMS road course?
KORY ENDERS: So I know the team has a strong set-up for there and we showed a lot of promise at St. Petersburg, and I was pretty fast there last year getting one of my best results of the season. So I’m pretty pumped to go to Indianapolis. We have a lot of great teammates and we get a lot of good data out of that, so I think it’s going to play into our hands.
POW: What is the toughest part of IMS?
KORY: I think the hardest part is getting down the hard braking zones, because I think that’s where the drivers struggle the most and as you know, IMS has a long front straightaway. So coming into turn one, you have to really maximize the braking zone to make the most of turn one and get the car hunkered down. So it takes a lot of practice and a lot of time to that point, but I’ve been working on that during the off-season and doing a couple tests purely working on braking and I think that’ll work out really well.
POW: Looking back on St. Pete, what are your thoughts?
KORY: Well, as you might know, we didn’t have the best weekend at St. Petersburg. As a team, we had a good weekend; but me personally, I didn’t. But I think I showed a lot of promise. The car was very good; I just had a hard time adapting to the conditions at St. Pete with the walls. I think if I had another chance at it, I would do a lot better. But coming in with not a lot of experience on street courses – that being the third time I’d ever been to a street course, I struggled quite a bit.
Overall, we had a good weekend and are sitting decent in the points for the championship. I’m looking forward to the weeks ahead, to be honest.
POW: How would you rate DeForce Racing’s program right now?
KORY: I would say DeForce Racing, not just because I’m apart of them, but they are one of the teams with some of the best chemistry in the entire paddock. We also currently have the best driver development program. We take a lot of young drivers and take them in and train them to be better drivers overall. You could see that a lot of teams like Exclusive and Cape Motorsports, they don’t have that ability. They sign good drivers, but their second driver doesn’t have the pace to stay with the top driver. That’s not the case with us because all of our drivers are on the same level. That’s because we work very hard to make sure everybody stays competitive with each other.
As a team, we share all of our information with the other drivers, so we try to make sure everyone has the information they need to be the best they can.
POW: What is it like working with your teammates Zach, Colin and Jose?
KORY: So we have three teammates this year. I only had one teammate last year, but this year we have Zach Holden, Colin Kaminsky, and Jose Sierra. They’re a great group of guys. They’re extremely talented driver, specifically Jose Sierra. He has a lot of experience in high downforce cars, and he really does have a great ability to control a car and produces a lot of great data. The chemistry, I think the team gets along very well. We don’t sign anybody that doesn’t have the feel or personality for our team, and this year we have a great group of guys. They’re all fast and competitive, and I think this year will be a great year for DeForce Racing.
POW: Looking ahead, what track are you most looking forward to beyond IMS?
KORY: That is an easy question. The answer is definitely Road America. That is one of my favorite tracks between the scenery, the kink, and all the great corners that track produces. The long straightaways, great breaking zones, and the scenery combined make it the best track that we go to. My favorite track was Watkins Glen, but unfortunately we don’t get to go there this year.
POW: Who is your racing hero?
KORY: My racing hero currently is Lewis Hamilton. He has an profound style of driving – great brake traces, smooth on the gas on acceleration. He’s an inspiration to a lot of young drivers, I believe, obviously being a four-time champion. I strive to be like him.
POW: With that said, you’re on the Mazda Road to Indy headed to the Verizon IndyCar Series. But do you desire to drive a Formula 1 car one day?
KORY: To be honest with you, I really want to get to IndyCar. I think IndyCar is the pinnacle for me. That being said, if the opportunity ever struck, I would love to drive a Formula 1 car just to see what it’s like, just to feel that power and downforce. But at the moment, I’m pretty focused on IndyCar and I’m looking forward to my first IndyCar test whenever that opportunity begins possible.
POW: How did you get started in racing?
KORY: So I started racing when I was six. I did some go-karts, and I did that until I was 10 or 11. Then I started driving street cars, actually for my dad’s dealership, and we found a team nearby that was DeForce Racing. It wasn’t DeForce Racing at the time, but our team owner David Martinez had a driver development program. So I went along with that, and progressed my way up as a Formula car driver. The rest is kind of history. I went into the Road to Indy and I’m just kind of learning as I go, enjoying it.
POW: What’s been the most memorable moment of your racing career to date?
KORY: That’s a great question. I’d have to say probably….. Just because it’s my only podium to date, I’d have to say racing in the F4 Series in Mexico City. I got a second-place, which should’ve been a win but we had a problem with the car and it didn’t go our way. But I’d say that the most memorable moment last year in Mexico City. It was a great moment for me.
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