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Howard joins expanded Roth team

Former Indy Pro Series champion Jay Howard will race full-time in next year's IndyCar Series with Roth Racing

The British driver will form a two-car line-up with team boss Marty Roth, who will compete the full season in the series for the first time in his career.

"To say I'm happy is an understatement," said the 2006 IPS champion. "Since the age of seven when I got in a go-kart all I ever wanted to do was be a professional racing driver. It's come true, so it's pretty special for me."

Howard started three IPS races at the start of this season, before he dedicated his time to trying to get an IndyCar drive.

"I thought I had a deal in IndyCar for just the road courses, but that just fell apart," the 26-year-old added. "I sat there thinking, 'what am I going to do?'

"It was too late to get a (full-time) IPS drive. After that, I said I've got to use my time the best I can. I wanted to show I'm still hungry for it and will never give up."

The rookie is preparing himself for a difficult maiden season in the series, but he is also targeting good results at the road course events.

"It might take a year for everyone to sort of settle in and for me to settle in and get more experience with pit stops," he said, "but I'm going to be pushing really hard. I'll be pretty disappointed if I'm not in the top five at St Pete."

Roth added that he was pleased to be putting together a team for a full season, having competed in just eight IndyCar races in four years.

"These partial seasons are very difficult," he said. "We've been developing a plan to expand and go with a two-car programme because they are just so much stronger.

"I think we have a good package for next year. Jay was just a natural fit, I love his driving style."

Roth's best IndyCar Series finish came at the 2007 finale, where he took 14th at Chicagoland.

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