Florida Test Session Gives Steve Arpin High Hopes For 2015 Season With Chip Ganassi Racing

Florida Test Session Gives Steve Arpin High Hopes For 2015 Season With Chip Ganassi Racing

by May 19, 2015 0 comments

For Chip Ganassi Racing driver Steve Arpin, his upcoming third year in Red Bull Global Rallycross marks the assumption of a position he hasn’t been in for “a long time” — driving top-quality equipment and with an expectation to win.

The driver of the No. 00 Ford Fiesta ST experienced a taste of his new position at Ganassi during a recent three-day test session at the Florida International Rally & Motorsports Park, which went much better than Arpin “ever anticipated it going” with the new team preparing for its debut in GRC.

“This is a start-up team, this is our first time at the racetrack together as a whole,” Arpin said. “[For] lots of guys, this is their first time working on a rally car in their life, so I guess I was nervous going into it.

“The transition was great. I had a lot of mixed feelings going into it, but it just shows what a top-quality group of people that we’ve put together over here with Ganassi and for this program.”

One of those people is new teammate Brian Deegan, a matchup that exceeded Arpin’s expectations in how well he and Deegan work together — communicating like “seasoned teammates.”

“The best part is that Brian and I is we come from such diverse, different backgrounds, so it really gives us both the opportunity to help the other one,” Arpin said. “It’s just a really neat opportunity to be able to talk to [Deegan] and just kind of tap into his experience, and tap into the little things he’s learned through everything that he’s accomplished over the years.”

A point that has “already proven true,” Arpin said that he and Deegan each communicate their different expertise to help the other pick up time in areas of weakness on the multi-surface courses typical to GRC.

“It’s like we’ve been together for a long time, and our communication is great,” Arpin said. “There’s zero internal competition there, we both just want to see each other do well.”

The pair won’t be together on every race weekend, though. Since Arpin is participating in full-time competition for the GRC championship and Deegan is not, Arpin will spend some weekends as the sole Ganassi entry at the track — including the first one in Ft. Lauderdale.

Despite saying that he will “miss having a teammate” whom he works with, as well as Deegan at select events, Arpin does see a benefit to only fielding one Ganassi car on occasion.

“Going to Ft. Lauderdale for the first race, it would be great to go into it having both of us, but there is a bright side to [being the only Ganassi car] too,” Arpin said. “We get to go there with all of our guys — our entire our team — and really just put 100-percent focus into one car and doing one car right, and really kind of overcoming any obstacles we’re going to find in our first races as a new team.”

Though the team is new to GRC and may face obstacles at first, Arpin described Ganassi as a “tried and proven” owner in the racing world. With the Ganassi stamp on his comes pressure, Arpin says — but it’s a pressure that he welcomes in the next step of his career.

“It’s an accomplishment in my career to have the opportunity to drive out of his stables,” Arpin said. “I’m thrilled to be in a position where I’m in a position that I’m expected to win.”

Photo Credit: Red Bull Global Rallycross PR

Alanis King

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