IndyCar Series convert Oriol Servia has warned against high expectations of a competitive showing from the former Champ Car teams at St Petersburg this weekend, as the series schedule arrives at its first road course track.
St Petersburg represents a return to normality for the Champ Car refugees whose former series was based almost entirely on street tracks, but the KV Racing driver, who finished 12th and highest of the converts at the season-opener in Miami last weekend, said they still have a way to go before they are on level terms with IndyCar's regulars.
"I'm excited about going to St. Pete," said Servia. "I think there's a little bit too high expectations for the transition guys just because it's our kind of track.
"At the end of the day, we're still fighting these big teams that know this car for five years. We're still quite a bit behind. The lap times we did at (an Open Test at) Sebring, what we learned in the car was very promising.
"At least we know in a street race, when we go soft at the front what it means to a car. Still we're here kind of guessing a lot."
Dale Coyne Racing's Bruno Junqueira agreed with Servia, but added that the Sebring test earlier this week had offered some hope for the transition teams that the gap will be much smaller than it was on the Homestead oval last Saturday.
"On the road courses, I was very surprised (at the Open Test)," said the Brazilian. "Oriol's time, even Will Power and my time, we were competitive to the (IndyCar Series) teams.
"So, let's see what happens in St. Pete. We'll still be a little bit behind, but closer."