Two races into the new IndyCar Series and Roth Racing is still raring to go after making a solid start to its new two-car programme.

Toronto-born owner-driver native Marty Roth added 2006 Indy Pro Series champion Jay Howard to his ranks for this season, and the Briton's strong showing in St Petersburg gives the boss confidence for the forthcoming Indianapolis 500, where he will follow a long line of Canadian drivers, including Cliff Hucul, Ludwig Heimrath Jr. and Paul Tracy.

While not expected to challenge the might of reigning 500 champions Andretti Green or powerhouse rivals Penske and Ganassi, Roth is delighted to be in the mix with the Champ Car converts and lesser IndyCar regulars after several seasons of fielding an occasional single-car entry.

"Everyone thinks I've been bringing a knife to a gunfight," he smiled, "This year it's a knife, but it's a sharper knife!

"After last year, we bought out Sam Schmidt's equipment, then picked up [Adrian] Fernandez's programme. We saw a lot of stuff we needed to be competitive. We've got four cars here, two for Jay and two for myself, [but] it took four years of collecting pieces to realise what we needed."

Howard moves up to the top-flight IndyCar Series after a year on the sidelines following his IPS title.

"I'm still learning," he admits, "but, like Marty said, we have the ability to go fast. The way you drive the car is pretty similar [to the IPS car], except everything just happens a little faster."

Howard, however, has managed to land a significant spotter for his entry, after Ron Dixon - the father of former IndyCar Series champion and 2007 runner-up Scott Dixon - agreed to don the headset atop the grandstand for him. The Briton ran fifth for a large part of the recent St Pete race before pit-strategies dropped him back to 14th. Roth failed to start the second round of the season after crashing in pre-race warm-up.