IndyCar »

IndyCar: Daly eyes full-time return

After four years chasing GP3 and GP2 success in Europe, Conor Daly says his focus is now on securing a full-time ride in the IndyCar Series.
Conor Daly has revealed that he is chasing a full-time ride in the Verizon IndyCar Series for 2015 after spending the past four years on the ladder to F1 in Europe.

The American had hoped that racing in GP3 and GP2 would open doors to the top flight but instead, like a lot of F1 hopefuls, he remains frustrated. Having raced at the 2013 Indianapolis 500, however, he is keen to turn his attention back to the United States.

“Right now, we are working as hard as possible to get me in an IndyCar for the 2015 season,” Daly confirmed, “Everyone told me growing up and going through the Mazda Road to Indy that it would be a huge addition to my career if I went to Europe. I think it was a great decision because it is the toughest environment in the world to develop as a driver. You go up against the best, and force yourself to learn and focus at a higher level. Now I can't wait for an opportunity to use this experience competing at the top level of the sport - IndyCar.

“Without a doubt, I am now prepared to take advantage of an IndyCar opportunity. I feel like I have an extremely solid base of experience to move forward with a team at a high level. A GP2 car is similar to an IndyCar performance-wise on road courses, [but] I love ovals and have won on them in the past - and I've got an Indy 500 under my belt. All I need is that opportunity!”

Daly admits that there are times he questions the decision to move to Europe – he was leading the 2011 Indy Lights championship at the time - but does not diminish the experience he gained from it.

“I ask myself this question a lot actually,” he smiled, “After seeing Josef Newgarden enter his fourth year in IndyCar, making a living and doing such a great job, it makes me wonder whether I made the right choice. However, I don't like to live in the past, I am always looking forward. No matter what, I am proud of what I accomplished in Europe and am ready to move forward with my career whatever direction that may take me.

“I think the perception [that Europe is the best training ground] has changed slightly due to the economy and the lack of team sponsorship these days. The pure opportunities, meaning chances given to drivers without a price tag attached are appearing less and less. However, I think I gained some respect from IndyCar teams after competing over there for several years, so hopefully that will turn into something over the next few weeks.”

While he would consider a return to sportscar racing following a one-off appearance at Daytona last season, Daly insists that IndyCar remains his main focus for the coming season.

“At the moment, I have been 100 per cent focused on IndyCar and have not had time to pursue a sportscar drive, although I would jump at the chance if offered an opportunity,” he noted, “I just hope IndyCar teams see the importance of having a constant flow of new talent coming into the sport. It will be extremely important to have a next generation of young drivers get a chance to show what they can do and generate interest for new young fans. There is nothing I would like more than to have the American flag on the IndyCar podium - with donut smoke still lingering in the air!”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Conor Daly (USA) Venezuela GP Lazarus at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for day 2 of pre-season testing on Wednesday, March 12 2014. (Photo: Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Conor Daly on the third day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Monday May 13, 2013. (Picture Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Conor Daly on the third day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Monday May 13, 2013. (Picture Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) celebrates winning the 2016 IndyCar title with victory at Sonoma   [pic credit: Chris Owens]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Ed Jones celebrates winning the 2016 Indy Lights championship
Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing) celebrates at Laguna Seca
Kyle Kaiser - Juncos Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing crew working on the boss` car   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Indy Lights action
Indy Lights title contender Santiago Urrutia, Ed Jones, Dean Stoneman, Felix Serralles, Kyle Kaiser and Zach Veach   [pic credit: IndyCar Media]
Santiago Urrutia - Schmidt Petersen Motorsport
Will Power - Team Penske
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to victory at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to pole at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Graham Rahal celebrates victory in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway   (image credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens)
Scott Dixon leads the Indycar field   [pic credit: Indycar media/Bret Kelley]

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


January 13, 2015 1:10 PM

he is derek dalys son and he is a tremendous talent . a j foyt gave him a drive in the indy 500 because he gave truthful feedback on foyts car in a test .the other young drivers reported the car felt much better after a change in setup. daly said it did not feel better , exactly the same. the mechanics did not change the car. the drivers had been setup. daly possesses a great natural talent and a level head. he deserves a good drive


January 10, 2015 6:52 PM

As we all know, F1 is a lottery, there is no place here except for those who come with blank cheque books. IndyCar maybe more open but at the end of the day, its still strictly business. I will be surprised if Conor (if Im not mistaken, he is the son of ex-F1 and Cart driver Derek Daly, an Irish man no less) get a drive here too but wish him the best.

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.