Peter Vodanovich wants to put a turbulent start to his USF2000 career behind him as he gears up for his maiden oval race this weekend.
The former New Zealand Toyota 86 champion departed for the US after a successful rookie Toyota Racing Series season.
However, untimely mechanical issues, especially at the start of each race weekend, has meant Vodanovich has not had the desired start to his USF2000 championship.
Vodanovich has been very quick this year. Last round at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he was the best overtaker among the field.
The young Kiwi is now hoping he can drive a stake in the ground and re-set for the rest of the year.
“I would have liked for [the year] to go better,” Vodanovich told Velocity News.
“We have had a lot of mechanical problems that haven’t helped.
“But we will press on for the rest of the season.
“We showed promise in the last few rounds, setting fastest laps and doing the most overtakes.
“I know we can be fast, but we have just had random issues come up.
“Hopefully, the rest of the season will go better.”
This weekend’s Freedom 75 at Lucas Oil Raceway is Vodanovich’s debut oval race.
He first experimented the extremes of oval racing in a private test before the first round, where he enjoyed the challenge of learning something new.
Now he is gunning for the chance to finally race around an oval.
“[Oval racing] is a challenge I am looking forward to,” he said.
“It will be good to get some laps under my belt and get some experience racing on ovals.
“Things like qualifying is different, it is done on a two-lap average, and you need to be super aggressive on the warm-up lap to get the grip.
“I enjoyed [oval racing] at a test day. It is a different feeling to get used to, but I’m sure I will get more comfortable with it.”
Vodanovich says his main aim for the rest of the season is to improve his position on the scoresheet.
“Just to get results,” he said when asked about his goals for the remaining rounds.
“We have always been so close, and we usually get hooked up at the end of the weekend, which is too late.
“I will keep getting my driving right and get the car right so we can be up there towards the top ten.”
The Freedom 75 is available for New Zealand viewers to watch on the Road to Indy YouTube channel, with the race beginning at 11.05 am Saturday, May 29.