New ringer in the field as Jeff Gordon returns to racing at Indy
INDIANAPOLIS (1 September 2022) – Irish Mike’s Racing is set to take on famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend for Round 7 of the IMSA Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by Visit Cayman Islands.
Craig Conway and Conor Flynn will traverse the yard of bricks in a pair of 40-minute races as part of the Porsche Sports Car Together Fest.
Flynn returns in the No. 95 FlynnCo Cars/ Chillout Systems Porsche 992. His competition in the 16-entry Porsche Pro class includes NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon.
“I was pretty young when he was really going big, but as a kid, Jeff Gordon was my favorite driver,” Flynn said. “It was exciting to finally see him at the track, at different Rolex Series events, but it’s going to be cool to be actually on the track racing against Jeff Gordon. He’s going to bring more fanfare to the event, and a lot more attention for Porsche, the series, and also the drivers.”
Conway drives the No. 97 Diamond Suzuki Porsche 992 in the Pro-Am class.
“Indianapolis was very good to me last year, we qualified on pole in the 991,” Conway said. “No one had been there before, so we were all weaving it out with limited track time. I’m hoping to do OK this year. I’m working on building our confidence level in these cars and working our way forward. We’ll give it a whirl. I like the Porsche Together concept – all Porsche, Porsche, Porsche, and we’re the main show and get treated very nicely. Jeff Gordon hasn’t been in a car in a long time, and he’s jumping into a frying pan here, because this Porsche Carrera Cup is very tough, indeed. But I’m glad he’s coming – he’ll bring a lot of attention to our series.”
Last year, both drivers visited the 991class podium in a standout weekend for the team in Indianapolis.
Flynn placed second in the Pro-Am 991 class in the second race of the weekend, also turning the fastest race lap of the entire weekend in the category. He also placed third in the opening race and fourth in the weekend finale.
Conway had his best finish of the season, placing third in the finale after two fifth-place finishes.
“Indy is definitely a personal favorite for me, and it’s also a favorite for the team as a whole,” Flynn said. “It seems to suit how we set up the car. Porsche puts on an incredible event, so it’s all-around a great weekend.”
For 2022, though, both drivers are learning the new Porsche 992, while Flynn has been placed in the lead Pro Porsche division.
“The 992 is a completely different car, so it has a lot different driving style on how you approach the turns,” Flynn said. “It’s going to be a quick learning curve. We didn’t do any testing at Indy with the 992, so we’re going there with a blank sheet of paper to figure it out. But we feel we’re getting a better grip on the car as the season goes along, so we feel we’re going into the weekend with a positive step forward, and hope we can make rapid progress as the weekend goes along with the practice sessions.”
Both drivers are coming off encouraging weekends, improving their finishing positions from Saturday to Sunday at both Watkins Glen International and Road America.
“I think that a trend that hopefully you will keep seeing,” Flynn said. “Every time we on the track we’re learning more and more about the setup, and I’m learning more about how to adjust my driving style. That’s what we’re focusing on this year, while building a program to be a lot more competitive, a lot more into the game, for next year.”
The season concludes at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta during the Motul Petit Le Mans weekend on Sept. 29-30.
“Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks, so I’m hopeful we can be competitive right out of the box when we go there,” Flynn said.