Coming to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a brand-new team and rookie driver is always going to be difficult. I think this month has shown us that is absolutely true. But I am really proud of the effort that all of the guys on the crew, the engineers and Sebastian on the driving front have put in to this point. I think we made really good progress, but we won't know for sure how much progress until the end of Sunday because, for us, the race is to get into the race and qualifying is everything.
We are very aware that, as a small team with no teammate for Sebastian and not a lot of data for the car, we have a very steep hill to climb, but we have been climbing and will continue to do so right up until that gun sounds on Sunday. I feel very encouraged by the progress we have been able to make this week and feel like qualifying is definitely within our reach. It is going to be down to us making the right decisions with the car and executing everything perfectly to maximize our operation and we can do that.
Thursday, we did something a little outside the box. We asked Bruno Junqueira, who has been walking around and hanging out with the team next door, FAZZT Racing, if he would be willing to hop in our car for 10 or 15 laps and just give us some data. We haven't had any data to show Sebastian to compare to – different lines, different throttle traces, different steering traces, any of that. So it has been difficult for us to be sure we know if we are where we need to be with the car.
Sebastian has been doing a great job in giving really good feedback. It was nice to see a veteran like Bruno hop in and say basically the same thing that Sebastian has been saying about the car. It just gave us that much more confidence in everything we are doing now. I have to say that I was really impressed with how quickly Bruno got up to speed. He did a really nice job and his feedback was great. It was hard to believe the guy hasn't been in an Indy car for a year because it took him all of about two-and-a-half laps and he was right there. We owe him a debt of gratitude and we'll be cheering for him to get in the race on Sunday, too, because he deserves it.
Looking ahead now, I think we are in the same boat as everybody. We are looking at what the weather is going to do and trying to plan our strategy based upon how much running is available. We have plenty of engine miles and plenty of tires. It is just down to how much track time we are going to have and we can use every lap available.
We are going to try to be smart, to keep trimming the car out and going for more and more speed as we ramp up for qualifying, and keeping our fingers crossed that it all goes our way.