Justin Wilson has admitted that 'a long road lies ahead' as he looks to secure his future in the IndyCar Series with the Dale Coyne Racing team.
The Briton found himself without a drive with Newman Haas Lanigan Racing for the 2009 campaign due to the team's need for sponsorship, which has seen Dutchman Robert Doornbos come in alongside Graham Rahal with the possibility that Milka Duno may follow.
However, a lifeline was then thrown by Coyne and Wilson joined the team for the IndyCar Series test session at Homestead and while a deal for the season has yet to be signed, he admitted he was looking forward to the new campaign.
“We've not officially signed a contract yet, but I'm looking forward to getting out there and showing what I can do,” he said. “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.”
Having taken a race win during his first year in the series after the end of the American open-wheel merger, Wilson had been tipped as one to watch during 2009 and he said he was hopeful that a deal with Coyne would allow him to keep moving forwards and ultimately fight for victory.
“It's going to be a tough year, but hopefully we can get stronger and be competitive on the road circuits,” he said. “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.
“[Engineer] Bill Pappas is 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 get, 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.”