Q & A with Justin Wilson

Conducted and provided by the IndyCar Series press office

Q & A with Justin Wilson

Q: How do you feel moving to Dale Coyne Racing?

Justin Wilson: I'm looking forward to the new season. We've not officially signed a contract yet, but I'm looking forward to getting out there and showing what I can do. It's a long, hard road ahead. We've got lots to learn, new engineer for me. It's just a lot of things to work on, whereas a lot of the others teams are further ahead. It's just the way it is, and we'll keep our heads down, keep working on it and get faster.

Hopefully on the road courses we can get close to the front, and we'll see where that takes us. The best thing about Dale Coyne Racing is Dale's a racer. He understands it all, and that's a big asset in this kind of racing.

Q: How did the opportunity come about?

JW: (Dale) called me about 10 days ago. We chatted on and off prior to that, and he called me up and said he wanted to move ahead, so that's when we progressed things. I went over to the workshop and got fitted for the car, and here we are.

Q: How is the process of securing a ride?

JW: There's a lot of uncertainty. The whole off-season was a bit of a lot of ups and downs, times when you think, 'ok, we're set and ready to go,' and then it was all off. That happened a few times. It's just how it is. You can't get too excited until you're in the car.

Q: Is it a bit frustrating, given your success in Champ Car and winning a race in the IndyCar Series last year to have to be out looking for a new ride?

JW: I thought we made a lot of progress last year. We got a win at Detroit, we were getting stronger at all of the other tracks. It was a such a learning year. I thought the stuff we were doing that year, the stuff we would be doing in the off-season we should be right at the front and challenging for wins every weekend come this season. Obviously, we don't have that opportunity now.

Before that, we finished in the top three in Champ Car the last three years - if you look back on it, you think well we've been hard done to, but it's just how it is. If you live in the past, you won't go forward. So, we've got to start with a fresh sheet of paper. That's what we did yesterday. We're starting completely fresh, and just working it out for ourselves and moving forward.

Q: Assuming you race for Dale Coyne Racing, where do you set your goals and expectations for 2009?

JW: It's just to keep progressing. It's going to be a tough year, but hopefully we can get stronger and be competitive on the road circuits. On the ovals, it will be just like last year where we slowly got better and better. I'd like to get a couple more top-five finishes. You just never know. If we can take another victory, that would be a fantastic result for us. Right now it's just keep our heads down, keep progressing, and if we do that we'll be happy.

Q: What's your outlook for Dale Coyne Racing for this season?

JW: It's the very early stages. Bill Pappas is the engineer. He's very good, lots of experience, and Dale is set on getting out there and being competitive. We've had a couple of days together so far. It's all very, very new. As thing settle in and we start to work it out and everything starts to gel, I think we'll get more and more competitive. The road courses are what I know. We'll work on the ovals. I'm confident we'll get more competitive. My aim is to win a race, but there's just a lot of work to be done. We're not afraid of that.

Q: Who are the guys to beat week in and week out?

JW: The usual suspects really. I think the two Ganassi cars are going to be really fast. There the two, the Penske cars. I think it will be between those for the championship. Everyone else looks so close. It's going to be a lot of interesting or repetitive comments on how, 'I just missed out.' I think everyone is going to say that apart from the one or two, because that middle bunch from fourth or fifth back to about 19th is all so close. It will not take much to be at one end or the other.

Q: Do you know if there are plans for Dale to run a second car?

JW: I think he'd like to, but I don't know what his plans are or what he's thinking. It's helpful to be two cars. You can learn faster and you can use each other, so it's always good. But, if you can't do that right, it's better to be car and focused and go out there and do the right job.

Q: Can you bring over some of what you've learned from last year?

JW: There's bits that I remember and bring over. There's so much to take in you can't remember enough of the details, and that's what this series is about is all in the details. You can remember springs or whatever but without some of the finer detail stuff it's worthless.

That's kind of what we were doing yesterday was just working on the basics. We've got to learn the basics and get them just right so we can start to deal with the details later on. That's where we got to last year. We did all that basic stuff and were working on all that fine tuning. There's time in all that fine tuning, but you've got to put the foundation in first. That's what we're aiming to do right now.

shares
comments
Briscoe on top as cut tyres affect test

Previous article

Briscoe on top as cut tyres affect test

Next article

Top rookie Conway happy with debut

Top rookie Conway happy with debut
Load comments
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie Plus

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in Indycar for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular team-mate Mauro Martini's passion for racing

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority Plus

The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority

OPINION: Having been Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar focal point for the best part of a decade, Scott Dixon has been so far outgunned by new team-mate Alex Palou in 2021. After finishing behind the Spaniard at his traditional happy hunting ground at Mid-Ohio, Dixon has work to do to assume his traditional position in the team and the standings

IndyCar
Jul 6, 2021
The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far Plus

The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far

At the halfway point in the 2021 IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels?

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Plus

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, he explained his tactics

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Plus

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after edging past Alex Palou on the penultimate lap of a thrilling race that validated Michael Shank's faith in the veteran Brazilian - who is discovering that there is life after Penske after all

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious at the Brickyard? Plus

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious at the Brickyard?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 27, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Plus

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there?

Formula 1
May 19, 2021
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Plus

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021