Ryan Hunter-Reay says Honda 'relentlessly' chasing IndyCar gains

Honda is working 'relentlessly' on improving its IndyCar aero kits for the 2016 season, reckons Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay

Ryan Hunter-Reay says Honda 'relentlessly' chasing IndyCar gains

The Andretti squad endured a troubled start to the series' aero kit era during the early part of 2015, struggling to get to grips with Honda's package.

Hunter-Reay, who won the championship in 2012, picked up two wins on ovals late in the year, and he is expecting a much better start to this season for the Honda teams.

"Things are moving in the right direction and I think we will be much more competitive right out of the gate in 2016," he said.

"I think the superspeedway package at Indy will be the similar package to what we had in 2015 but we made massive steps forward in the road, street and short oval package.

"I know Honda is working relentlessly in the superspeedway package as well."

Honda was given concessions over the winter to allow it more scope for development than rival supplier Chevrolet, which powered Ganassi's Scott Dixon to the 2015 title and won 10 of the 16 races.

Dixon critical of IndyCar aero kits

Hunter-Reay believes the difficulties early last year were simply a result of his team struggling to maximise what the Honda aero kit was capable of.

"It was a struggle to begin with; we were always two sessions behind and couldn't hit the sweet spot with the new package," he said.

"Unfortunate as it was, we kept our heads down and kept after it and ended up with a really strong finish to the season winning at Iowa and Pocono and finishing second at Sonoma.

"I was really proud how we fought back. It would have been very easy to get down and surrender to a bad season.

"But we were relentless in getting back to where we believed we belonged and showed we belonged.

"It was good to have a positive note to what we believed was a struggle of a season."

Hunter-Reay kicked off his year by driving the lead car in the 127th running of the famous Tournament of the Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, which was attended by an estimated one million spectators on January 1.

He was the first Indy 500 winner to feature in the parade since 1963, when Rodger Ward appeared on the State of Indiana float.

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IndyCar champion Scott Dixon critical of the series' aero kits

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