Carlin predicts 'tough birth' in 2018 IndyCar season

Trevor Carlin says his team will likely have a "tough birth" in the 2018 IndyCar season because he estimates it was six weeks behind schedule at launch

Carlin predicts 'tough birth' in 2018 IndyCar season

Trevor Carlin says his team will likely have a "tough birth" in the 2018 IndyCar season because he estimates it was six weeks behind schedule at launch.

Carlin announced it would step up to IndyCar with a two-car effort for Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton after working on a deal during the 2017 season.

The team boss told Autosport that delays over contracts and funding has put it on the backfoot, but Carlin proactively bought the cars and necessary equipment in the meantime and he believes it will catch up.

"Well we always had ourselves a deadline that we needed to confirm we were doing IndyCar in the August prior to the race season," he said.

"It's taken longer in truth than planned to get contracts finalised and funding, hence the [later timing of the] announcement.

"In the meantime, we've been buying cars, equipment and employing people. We've lost time, about six weeks, we're doing everything we can to catch up.

"Because it's a new car [aerokit] there's parts limitations from Dallara. It'll be a tough birth, but we'll have both cars at St Petersburg."

Carlin said that the deal came together quickly, once it knew the driver market left two ex-Carlin drivers available in Kimball and Chilton, who were both previously at Ganassi.

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"There were rumours of Ganassi dropping from four to two cars next year and instantly put two drivers on the market," he said.

"It all started to click into place very quickly, sponsors were aligned and wanted to join so we gave them a September deadline and we got verbal commitments.

"By the end of the 2017 IndyCar season, we were ready to start the process."

Chevrolet choice simple

Carlin believes that while Honda is the "fashionable" engine supplier option, it made sense to partner with Chevrolet as it has been dominant in IndyCar.

Chevrolet power has won more races than Honda in the last two years, despite the Japanese manufacturer recovering from just two race wins in 2016 to record seven victories in '17.

Honda has won the last two Indianapolis 500s, but Carlin expects Chevrolet to continue to be the stronger engine even if the universal aerokit replacing manufacturer designs levels the field more.

"We spoke to both, you've got to do your due diligence, and the way I saw things, in the end, was that I saw fashionably Honda seemed to be the thing to have, everyone was saying how much power the Honda had," he said.

"To me what they didn't seem to notice was it was the Chevy that was still actually winning the championships, and a company like Chevy is not going to take it lying down that people are saying the Honda is a better engine.

"I have been informed that Chevy has done a lot of work over the winter months and will be at least on par if not ahead of Honda, so I'm quite excited."

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