Peter Vodanovich says he never expected to see his racing career veer off towards IndyCar.
However, with the former New Zealand Toyota 86 champion now set to head stateside for a drive in the USF2000 series, Vodanovich is gunning to become the next IndyCar champion.
Vodanovich will be racing with reigning champions Jay Howard Driver Development team for the 18-race championship. He is the second Kiwi confirmed on the 2021 grid, with Billy Frazer signing on for Exclusive Autosport.
Speaking with Velocity News ahead of his departure to the United States, Vodanovich said he had always thought his racing journey would see him transition into touring cars.
“To be honest I did not expect to be aiming for IndyCar at the start of my career,” Vodanovich said.
“I always thought a single-seater career would be too big of an ask since I started on the sim then went straight into tin tops, rather than beginning in karts.”
“After making the step into the Toyota Racing Series, the progress made in such a short season, scoring podiums and fastest laps, gives me confidence for what I can achieve and learn in America.
“So, when the opportunity came up to race in the USF2000 series and work towards an IndyCar career, I just had to take it.”
Vodanovich will have to deal with understanding an entirely new car as well as getting to grips with an unfamiliar circuit each weekend.
“I think both the new car and the tracks offer some exciting challenges. On the one hand, I still have so much to learn with single-seaters, so getting used to the car will be critical.
“But also I’m lucky to race on my first oval track and tracks like Barber and Mid-Ohio, which requires lots of commitment.
“I will be working hard with Jay Howard and the team to try to make the transition as smooth as possible.
“The goal is always to leave everything I have on the track, and hopefully, that means I end up at the front. It is a very competitive series, but I will be pushing myself on and off the track to get the best results I can.”
Vodanovich will be racing at several events this season alongside the IndyCar field as a support category. He is hoping to catch a word of advice from one of the series’ greats.
“My mentor Todd Pelham is one of Scott Dixon’s best mates, they discussed where I am at in my career and Scott said I have to get to the State.
“We very quickly were introduced to Jay Howard and together managed to put a last minute deal together. I’m so lucky to have Scott and Jay in my corner when I’m over there.”
The first round of the USF2000 series will be at Barber Motorsport Park over April 17-18.