Performance and results are the strongest measures of a Verizon IndyCar Series driver’s effectiveness and often the best predictor of future employment. Justin Wilson hopes his five-race stint with Andretti Autosport to close the 2015 season will lay the groundwork for a return to a full-time ride in 2016.
For the first time since he began racing Indy cars in 2004, Wilson will not compete in the majority of events in a season. He drove the No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Indianapolis 500 in May. The ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at The Milwaukee Mile was his first Indy car race in nearly two months. Wilson ran as high as second before a mechanical issue ended his day in 18th place.
“Milwaukee went really well, apart from the end result,” Wilson said. “The car was fantastic in the race, kept moving forward. We'd find a way to shuffle back, then we'd move forward again. I was really pleased with the car. Unfortunately, had a problem with the engine there toward the end. I think doing more races, getting into the flow of things, getting into that rhythm, is definitely going to help.”
In the Iowa Corn 300 on July 18 at Iowa Speedway, he started 18th and showed promising speed but was set back when the No. 25 Honda brushed the wall one-third through the race. He finished 17th.
"It was a long, frustrating night," he said.
Wilson knows these five races to close the season could go a long way in determining whether he can nail down a full-time drive in 2016, which is his ultimate goal.
“This is where I feel want my career to be; this is what I want to do,” the 36-year-old Englishman and seven-time Indy car race winner said. “It's great to come in and get the last four or five races (with Andretti). I just want to do the best job I can. I want to work with the engineering team, produce the best race car I can, get the best results, see what that does for the future.
“I have no idea what happens after Sonoma (the season finale) at this stage. But that's still more information than I've had for the rest of the year, so I'll take it.”