Oliver Webb says four-time IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti convinced him to switch from racing in Europe to America for 2012.
The 20-year-old Briton has moved from Formula Renault 3.5 to Indy Lights for this season, when he will race for top team Sam Schmidt Motorsports. He made four starts in the series last year, and it was after his first appearance that Franchitti advised him to make the switch.
"I remember coming back from Edmonton on a flight with Dario – it was my first race and I got a podium without even testing beforehand," said Webb at the AUTOSPORT International motorsports trade show. "That was great, and he was saying this is definitely the move to make at this critical stage of my career, and not to wait another year."
Webb that he feels moving to America will improve his chances of becoming a professional racer.
"Maybe it would have been different if I'd won the World Series title – we might have gone for GP2," he said. "We had a few offers to progress, but the decision was made to go stateside.
"I want to start becoming a professional driver rather than losing money every year, which is the most common thing in this industry. This is my career path, and my aim is to win the [Indy Lights] title this year and be in IndyCar next year."