All of the ingredients seem to have aligned for Patricio O ‘Ward and Carlin Racing as they start their journey together.

O’Ward speedily signed a deal to race in 13 rounds of the NTT IndyCar Series season after terminating his contract with Harding-Steinbrenner Racing. Charlie Kimball, who ran for Carlin full-time last season, will contest the remaining rounds as well as the Indy 500.

Team owner Trevor Carlin is confident that the 2018 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion will fulfill his promise when he gets behind the wheel at the Circuit of the Americas in two weeks. What he found most impressive was how he defeated Colton Herta, a former Carlin driver in British Formula 3, last year for his Indy Lights title.

“I saw last year the fantastic battle with Patricio and Colton Herta,” he said. “Colton Herta is an ex-Carlin driver from Europe. He had a young teammate, a kid called Lando Norris. I saw Colton and Lando Norris fighting tooth and nail. I said in 2015, Lando Norris will become a Formula 1 driver and Colton Herta will be an INDYCAR driver. That's happened.”

“In the meantime, I've seen Patricio beat Colton. To my mind, it's a really simple analogy. Patricio is as good as Colton and Lando and is going to be a future champion. I'm super excited.”

The 19-year-old from Monterrey, Mexico showed tremendous promise in his IndyCar debut last year at Sonoma Raceway where he qualified fifth and finished ninth. His performance throughout the weekend has Carlin excited about what the young Mexican driver brings to the table as his team enters its second season with driver Max Chilton and Kimball.

“Twelve months ago, we were just about to enter our first-ever Indy car race, only had a second car for a week,” he said. “The whole team, nobody in our team had done (NTT) IndyCar (Series) before. We're 12 months down the road, a well-organized team. I think our presentation is very high. We've done everything necessary. What we haven't had is results. To get results, it's a package. Part of that package is the drivers.”

“Having Patricio onboard, we've done a load of testing with R.C. Enerson, who showed us there's more potential in the car. Of course, then what happens, our current drivers Max (Chilton) and Charlie (Kimball), they lift their game. The whole thing is starting to spiral upwards.”

With optimism being a key theme, O’Ward was very upbeat about his new journey with Carlin. While relatively speaking, the team is new to IndyCar, O’Ward alluded to the team’s success in the multiple junior categories of Europe.

“I'm super, super excited. I think this is a really cool new challenge,” he said. “Carlin was a new team last year, so this is their second year in the NTT IndyCar Series. They've proven to be winners. They're a very well-respected organization in Europe. I've always watched them in Formula 2 and other pretty prestigious categories. They've proven to be winners. They know the formula, they know how to win.

“That's what we're here for. Someone that is in this sport to be in the back isn't here for the right reason. I'm really excited to start it off. I just want to drive, man. I haven't been in a car since Sonoma. I can't wait for my first test.”

O'Ward will test for the team next week at the Barber Motorsports Park ahead of his debut at COTA on March 24.

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