Bruno Junqueira says he is ready for a full-time return to the IZOD IndyCar Series after an impressive comeback so far in the second FAZZT car at Indianapolis.
The Brazilian, who broke and dislocated his back in an accident at the Speedway in 2005, starts 25th on the grid after a late deal allowed him just one day's testing prior to qualifying. But the former Champ Car ace set the fourth-fastest time in the final one-hour Carb session on Friday and believes he can still be a competitive force on a regular basis, not just this weekend.
"I'm an open-wheel racer, and I think as long as I can drive fast and be competitive then I can be able to race here," he told AUTOSPORT. "I'm very fit, I work hard, but I didn't race so much last year, and it's given me back that hunger again. I want to come back and race. I've had a year off, man, I'm ready to do it again! I'm like a young kid."
Junqueira added that he had been pleased with his pace so far on his return to Indy.
"Better than expected to be honest," he said. "I sat in the car for the first time, did three timed laps, and it was straight into qualifying. We were quickest on Bump Day, and then we were P4 on Carb Day, so it shows we have a competitive car.
"I'm a little bit sad that I'm starting 25th, because it will make my life a little bit difficult, especially in the hot temperatures. I think we can put ourselves in a good position by the end of the race, but I've got to be patient and gain the places slowly. I think we can be really strong by the end."
Full Q & A with Bruno Junqueira