Billy Frazer says he has a fresh appreciation for oval racers after his first experience at Lucas Oil Raceway last month in a USF2000 car.
The young Kiwi recently moved to Indianapolis to start his rookie USF2000 season.
It is Frazer’s first time living on his own, and in a city he jokes as being “definitely no Auckland.”
One of Frazer’s first days in his new car had him get to dip his toes into the waters of oval racing.
Frazer says that debut oval experience was unworldly, but he enjoyed getting atop of a challenge he had never faced before.
“I have a completely new appreciation for oval racers,” Frazer told Velocity News. “Not going to lie, it was very daunting the first time.
“You need a very high level of concentration the whole time you are on track. But by the end of the day, I felt I was on the pace.
“The highline at Lucas Oil is the fastline, so you do get up nice and close with the walls.
“The turns require a small brake on entry. But once the rubber starts to get laid down, I believe all you will need is just a small lift.
“When we go there during the season, we are one of the last cars to be on the track. So, there should be lots of rubber already laid down and the course will be really fast.
“Ovals are super fun to drive on, though I know racing there will be something entirely different.”
After his oval outing, Frazer hit the road for an eight-hour trip to Barber Motorsport Park in Alabama.
The two-day spring test is the last opportunity for drivers to get seat time before the first round of the new season.
Frazer ended the test ninth on the combined standings and was the second-highest rookie. His Exclusive Autosport teammate Christian Brooks topped every session, and his form suggests he will be a benchmark competitor this season.
Despite his impressive times, Frazer says there are still areas of the car that he needs to get his head wrapped around.
“There is room for improvement on my end,” he said. “It is great having someone like Christian in my team who can help me with everything.
“The car is a lot different to what I expected. It isn’t quite that Formula Ford-TRS hybrid, but I feel like I have got on top of it quickly.
“The biggest difference compared to the TRS car is the tyre. The tyres we use in America demand you push hard and be on the pace straight away.
“As soon as you leave the pitlane you need to be gunning it.
“The car isn’t as quick as a TRS in a straight line, but it is very light and that means it is faster through the slower corners.”
Frazer’s times and consistency in testing hints at him being near the front of the grid come round one next week.
Asked about what his targets are for the season ahead, Frazer said his race driver mentality means he doesn’t aim for anything less than victories.
“Winning is always the goal,” he said. “I’m a racing driver; winning is what I strive to do.
“I felt great at testing and was super proud with how I went on the second day.
“I’ve done my rookie years in Formula Ford, and then TRS, so I am excited to start the season here in America.”
Round One of the 2021 USF2000 series is scheduled to be at Barber Motorsport Park on April 16-18.