New Dale Coyne Racing driver Alex Palou says securing an IndyCar seat was “a dream and a goal to fulfil” for two years.
Palou impressed the outfit during a test at Mid-Ohio in July, but team owner Dale Coyne admitted earlier this month he was worried Honda would decide to keep the Spaniard in Super Formula, in which he finished third this year in his rookie season.
But Palou was announced as Sebastien Bourdais’ successor for 2020, as part of a deal including the Team Goh outfit Palou has raced for in Super GT’s GT300 class this year.
Speaking to Autosport about his deal, Palou said: “Everything comes obviously after the test, which was super good.
“Everyone was super happy – the team, I, Honda and from there we went to work to see if there was a possibility of doing IndyCar in 2020.
“At first it seemed that yes [there was], then no; we kept working but it seemed we were running out of choice.
“Then the Bourdais thing happened with the team and we went to work to the fullest, 100%, to be able to be there.
“In the end we have achieved it, it has been thanks to the fact that everyone has put a little of their part, from the team, Honda and Team Goh, with whom I was in Super GT, which will continue to support us.
“It’s very cool because they already had a relationship with Coyne and it’s cool that they come back together and support me.
“I am super happy because it is something that I had as a dream and goal to fulfil and I kept thinking about it for the last two years.
“All that was in my head was to win every possible race to one day get there.
“Now we are here and I only think of trying my best, which is a big step, not like from Europe to Japan, this is another level, much more complete, with very different teams and very different races.
“The ovals are going to be an experience that I’m dying to try.”
Palou also dismissed the idea of racing in both IndyCar and Super Formula.
“It is impossible because it always coincides,” he said. “Although not many races, there are many tests and cannot be combined.
“I will only do Indy and will live in the US.”
Palou, who scored a win, three pole positions and was the leading rookie in his first Super Formula season, said he was aiming to be best of the newcomers in IndyCar next year.
“The goal is very difficult to say now that we have not done a test against all teams,” he commented.
“But the first thing is to be rookie of the year, both in the championship and in the Indy 500 – that is something that I have in mind because it has a lot of value there.”
Published at Sun, 22 Dec 2019 16:43:54 +0000