Newgarden in control rapidly with new race engineer
Josef Newgarden, who simply missed out on pole in qualifying at St. Petersburg, made quick work of discovering velocity with Gavin Ward, his new race engineer on the No. 2 Chevy.
Ward, who got here to Crew Penske from Method 1 the place he served as a race engineer for Crimson Bull Racing, acquired to know the Tennessean whereas working beneath Brian Campe final season. That point spent with Ward in Newgarden’s engineering group proved useful as Campe lately was shifted to a shop-based position.
The sensation-out course of between new driver and engineering combos can take a 12 months or extra, in some circumstances. However because of their familiarity gained in 2018, Newgarden mentioned the transition from Campe to Englishman Ward was quick and easy.
“It’s nice for me as a result of we set to work collectively all final 12 months, so we already had a 12 months collectively in lots of respects,” Newgarden instructed RACER. “The one unhappy factor is I misplaced my ‘double engineer system.’ I felt like I had nearly double the sources on my automotive final 12 months, so it’s unhappy to not have Campe right here. However ’s at all times there on the store, in communication every time we want him.
“’s engaged on a whole lot of issues for us so he’s very a lot nonetheless within the sport, but it surely’s good to have Gavin. He’s undoubtedly a terrific man — very enthusiastic and a incredible perspective, which is what you want in a workforce atmosphere. To this point, there have been no points. We’re gettin’ alongside nice, and I believe we’re gonna have 12 months collectively.”
Previous to Campe and Ward, Newgarden’s roster of IndyCar race engineers included Nathan O’Rourke and Jeremy Milless at Ed Carpenter Racing. In every occasion, the 2017 IndyCar Collection champion mentioned he benefited by studying new methods to extract efficiency from himself and from the automotive.
Newgarden: “It’s enjoyable to be taught from guys with totally different backgrounds.” Picture by LePage/LAT
“It’s enjoyable to be taught totally different strategies and thought processes from guys with totally different backgrounds,” he defined. “Gavin’s acquired a really totally different background than mine or what Brian had coming from NASCAR; and that’s a optimistic factor. He acquired to be taught from and we’re studying from his. Definitely there are issues from the F1 world that they consider very otherwise. They’ve very totally different instruments and totally different goals, typically, than us. And with the ability to incorporate a few of these ideologies into our combine has been, for my part, very useful.
“On the identical time, although,” Newgarden continued, “we’ve needed to carry Gavin in control on what’s the norm in IndyCar racing. You possibly can’t run an Indy automotive like an F1 automotive, to a sure diploma.”
Campe introduced heavy oval expertise to the connection, and that’s the one apparent space the place Newgarden and Ward might want to construct expertise because the season progresses.
“I believe for Gavin, 2018 was a 12 months to study ovals and all of the idiosyncrasies of IndyCar as a result of it’s so totally different in a whole lot of methods. However you additionally must be solely answerable for the automotive on ovals to get every part there’s to find out about tuning on the vehicles,” Newgarden mentioned. “The competitors’s so shut, so it places extra emphasis on setup. Final 12 months was nearly studying that course of however having an equal enter. It was Brian and me taking the purpose, however Gavin leaping in every time he wanted, so it has made it a straightforward transition for this 12 months, for my part, and I can’t wait to see what we are able to obtain collectively.”