Having missed most of the pre-season testing due to budget constraints, India's Armaan Ebrahim faces an uphill task as he prepares for his first Indy Lights race here this weekend.
This will be the first time an Indian is racing in the prestigious Indy Series that enjoys keen following among American and expat Indian fans.
Armaan will have just two practise sessions to acclimatize himself to the circuit that is a combination of city roads and an airfield, besides a new team, the Fan Force United.
Commented Armaan: "It is a handicap not to have had the opportunity to do all the pre-season tests and learn the car as well as the circuits. But this has never been an opportunity for me and I have learned how to live with it."
"The team is a small outfit and due to the small budget that we are operating on, it is obvious that we are the poor souls in the paddock!
"But to more than make up for that is the team's passion and experience in the Indy Racing League and the Indy Lights. The people in the team are very hard working and with a lot of experience and that more than makes up for all the fanfare that is missing.
"The test at Barber was good and that has given me the confidence that I can do well in the season opener despite lack of critical testing. The circuit is a mixture of tarmac and concrete which will give different grip levels.
"The street course too has its own character and for sure the race will be extremely physical as it is a 45-lap race. We go into the official practice sessions on Friday with the Qualifying and race on Saturday. If I can finish in the top five this weekend, it will provide a solid base for me to do well in the next race at Barber the following weekend where I tested last week.
"Racing in America is definitely an eye opener and the question I ask myself is that why did I not move here earlier," Arman noted.