Gavin Ward, Josef Newgarden’s race engineer at Team Penske in the NTT IndyCar Series says that the outfit need to execute everything well and see what happens.

Speaking to Paddock Eye on Tuesday ahead of this weekend’s Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course presented by HPD Ridgeline, the Toronto native said that the team need to iron out the mistakes that they have encountered during the season.

Speaking about the issue that Newgarden suffered at Road America last time out, Ward said that it was a gearbox issue that the team had not seen before and that they are still investigating the issue.

Ward who made the move to U.S to join Team Penske following years at the Red Bull Racing team said that the way that the two sports operate is cometely different.

Ward told us that during his time at Red Bull there were over 800 people working on the two cars however at Team Penske there are roughly 80 people working across the entire IndyCar programme and in that regard it is easier to get to know the people you work with.

The NTT IndyCar Series has opened up to fans again following the COVID-19 global pandemic and one of the biggest differences Ward sees between F1 and IndyCar is the access granted to fans in that they can enter the IndyCar paddock and get up close to the cars and speak to the engineers and he enjoys sharing that experience with the fans.

Ward explained to us that was never possible for fans in Formula One given the thousands it costs for a Paddock pass in Formula One.

Ward explained that having studied engineering in the UK he applied to everyone Formula One team for internships and was even offered an internship with a startup ChampCar team however funding for the project dried up and the opportunity never materialised.

Ward went on to say he was getting ready to return to Toronto when he received a call from Jaguar Racing to come for an interview and having taken the internship in the R&D department he landed on his feet as when Red Bull took over the team in 2005 he found himself on the test team and moved from there to the race team.

Ward said that he was proud of the time he spent in Formula One having seen Red Bull go from seventh in the championship to being part of four consecutive world championships, however, when he got the call from Team Penske with the offer to join the team in 2018 as defending champion Josef Newgarden’s race engineer he said it was too big an opportunity to pass up.

Ward said that working in IndyCar is where he wants to be and he realised that after spending his youth attending the Moulson Indy Toronto.

Looking ahead to this weekend, Ward said that the circuit at Mid-Ohio is similar to the Hungaroring in Formula One in that it is narrow but fast.

Ward said that he spoke to Josef last week and the pair feel that they have had a really good season to date it is just a matter of having a bit of luck go their way and they hope that the turnaround in their fortunes starts this weekend.

Ward has conceded however that this year had been extremely tough due to how compete the NTT IndyCar Series field is this season with seven different winners in the first nine races.

Josef Newgarden goes into this weekend’s Honda Indy 200 presented by HPD Ridgeline as the leading Team Penske driver in fourth place in championship on 261 points.

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