After placing third in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, Christian Rasmussen shocked the field by pacing all six sessions of the Chris Griffis Memorial test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He recently spoke to POPULAR OPEN WHEEL about the past year, as well as his outlook moving forward.
POPULAR OPEN WHEEL: What are your thoughts as you reflect back on the Chris Griffis Memorial test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
CHRISTIAN RASMUSSEN: Well, obviously the test went very good. We were fast in all six sessions. We expected to be fast coming off the season, but I don’t think anyone expected us to be fast in all six sessions.
POW: Does that give you a confidence boost entering the off-season?
CHRISTIAN: Oh yeah, for sure. Huge confidence boost to be that fast. Obviously there’s going to be more people when it comes to the races, some new people coming in, but sure it’s a good way to showcase your speed and show you’re competitive. That’s a confidence boost for sure.
POW: What are your thoughts as you reflect back on 2019?
CHRISTIAN: At the start of the season, I think we were a bit unlucky. We had St. Petersburg with Darren Keane spinning in front of us; that took me out and cost me a second place, if not a win. Then we got taken out at Road America and got a puncture at Portland. Just a bunch of unlucky stuff that stopped us from having more success. But I think in the last half of the season, it went very good and I had the most points from Toronto and out. So that’s a positive, but hopefully we can be more consistent and have more prodiums next year to go for the championship.
POW: What was your favourite moment from the season?
CHRISTIAN: My favorite moment was definitely my first win in Toronto. That was a very cool weekend. It was the first win for me in the series, and first win for my team in the series. Obviously just my second time on a street course, but a track I’ve never been to before. I really enjoyed that weekend in general driving on the streets of Toronto between the concrete walls.
POW: What is the biggest thing that you learned this year that you feel will help in 2020?
CHRISTIAN: I think it’s just perfecting your craft and getting better as a racecar driver is the most important thing. I’ve become a lot more consistent this year, which is very important to win races. You just improve slowly and this has been a good year for that.
POW: You spoke about how much you liked Toronto, but what other track are you looking forward to in 2020?
CHRISTIAN: I mean, I enjoyed street circuits so St. Pete is right there with Toronto. I’m also looking forward to going to COTA. I won there in F4 so I’m looking forward to getting back there as it’s a cool circuit. That’s the three I’m looking the most forward to.
POW: How did you get started in racing?
CHRISTIAN: I started karting when I five-years-old. It was my dad that took me and I started by driving every Sunday. From there, it took off and I went up the different karting ladders and started racing cars and it just got more and more.
POW: Who is your racing hero?
CHRISTIAN: I don’t know. Would it to be too much to say Jay Howard? Actually, I’d say Ayrton Senna. He’s a huge influence for me and looking back at his career and looking back at how he affected the whole racing industry.
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