IndyCar Series rookie Will Power insists that his KV Racing Technology-run Team Australia operation has a long way to go to be a match for powerhouses Andretti Green, Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing, but claims that that will not stop him pressing for top five results and a place in the top ten overall.

Speaking after another promising weekend in Texas, the Australian revealed that there is a big difference in materials, as well as experience, between the 'big three' and the Champ Car convert run by Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser but, after spending the best part of a month pounding around Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he feels more able to play a part in pushing the team up the pecking order.

"I think where these other guys have got us is all of the work they've done on wind tunnel and wheel bearings, coatings for the gearbox," he explained, "All of those little things that add up to the 1.5-2mph they have over us on the faster ovals.

"But when you're running maximum downforce [on shorter ovals], that doesn't count. It's more about the car balance, and that's the reason that we can run up front. Obviously, shorter ovals helps me a little bit too, because I raced at Milwaukee once, in 2006, and I really enjoy running around them because, when you have got full downforce, it's a lot like a road course - you go take a proper racing line, and it's all about just holding it flat and just running the car as free as possible.

"[Where we struggle] is mainly the longer ovals. I think that we can be competitive and run in the top five on the shorter ovals, [but] it's just the development. We're five years behind, and we're about probably $30 million worth of development behind. But we are catching [up] very quickly. To qualify eighth at Texas was really good for us, so we're finding the speed, but it's just a whole lot of little things to be honest.

"Every time we go to a new oval, we've got a new bit that we put on the car that we found that all of these frontrunners are running. That's going to continue all the way into next year, and beyond. And, to be honest, I think it will continue until a new car comes out, because I don't think we can actually catch up to what all of the development that these guys have done. That's just the way it is. But, I'm starting to love it. It's so competitive and you've got so many cars on the grid."

Solid qualifying results from Milwaukee and Texas - where he gridded fourth and eighth respectively - may not have yielded the desired outcome in races, where he finished 14th and 13th accordingly, but Power is convinced that the track time he gained at Indianapolis has already begun to show.

"I think the biggest thing this year for me was the month of May, just the mileage in the car really helped me," the Aussie admitted, "There's nowhere faster that we go to. Then we went to Milwaukee, which seemed a lot slower and you had a lot more grip. So I really enjoyed Milwaukee. I also enjoyed Indy and, even when I went to Texas, I felt very comfortable as soon as I went out.

"So, we are progressing. The team is really progressing well with development, and I'm progressing as a driver, so it's all coming together now. We seem to be qualifying a little bit higher, and sort of working out well in each of the races, as well. We are looking forward to the second half of the season to be honest, because you have a mixture of short ovals and road courses, and I think that's going to help us in the points for sure."

Despite being a tip to succeed on the road and street courses that proliferate in the second half of the IndyCar season - with trips to former Champ Car staples Edmonton and Surfers Paradise on the cards - Power is not getting ahead of himself as he and KVRT/Team Australia continue to learn their way around the Dallara-Honda package.

"Obviously, I really enjoy road courses because I've had so much experience on them, and I really know what I want and how to get the most out of the car, but I'm starting to get the feel for the ovals," he conceded, "In a year, after this season, I think I'll understand the ovals a lot more and come back next year very competitive.

"But it's not just road courses and street courses that we need to get our points on and, in this series, unless you're in the top five, you're not getting big points. I finished 13th and [team-mate] Oriol [Servia] finished 25th last weekend, and I only got five more points than him. If you win a race, you get a big chunk of points.

"So it's important for us to do well [on the ovals], and we can do well there. You know I will be putting 100 per cent effort into that, and you know we can get some really good points back that will allow us to finish in the top ten, if not higher. So, from that standpoint, the second half of the season does look good for us.

"However, [the established IRL teams] have been to all of these [road and street] circuits we are going to, so they have some good data there. I think maybe [we'll have an advantage] when we go to tracks like Edmonton or the Gold Coast but, obviously, they have been to St. Pete, they would have been to Watkins Glen, so I think they are right on top of it.

"To be honest, I'm sort of worried. We have not done a road course yet, so we don't know whether we are going to be behind like we are on these big ovals or not. I think that we will be pretty close there, but I don't think that we have any big advantage there at all. In fact, I don't think we have any advantage to be honest, because we haven't got any idea of gears and any of that sort of stuff. We haven't had five years of development with this car on road courses, so we are still behind there."

Despite the air of pessimism, however, Power is convinced that he can be a threat to finish in the top overall for the season, and challenge Andretti Green's Indy Pro Series graduate Hideki Mutoh for rookie of the year honours.

"Coming into the season, I thought that, if I finished in the top ten, that'd be really good, but the rookie of the year would be a really big deal for me too," he admitted, "I think that there are a couple of guys that are going to be really tough to beat, and obviously Mutoh is one of them, because he's on a very good team with a lot of experience on ovals and on the road courses. So I think he's going to be the main competition there, but you've got guys like Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson who are also right there.

"So, you know, if I can win the rookie of the year, I'll be really happy. If I finish in the top ten, that's really good, too. I'm just focusing on every single event, every individual event to get the best result possible and learn as much as I can."