Justin Wilson hit reset May 3. Twenty-eight weeks had passed since he last drove a Verizon IndyCar Series car, during which time aerodynamic bodywork packages for road/street courses and superspeedways were introduced, so he expected a few teething issues.

“When you switch teams, it’s never easy that first couple of days and that first time in the car, especially when you’re trying to squeeze in the car and get the seat just right and the belts just right and the pedals and everything else. It’s just nice to get all that done,” said Wilson, who will make his season debut May 9 in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis in the No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda.

Wilson will make his 169th career Indy car start in the 200-mile race on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and also be part of the team’s expanded effort – he and Simona de Silvestro joining full-season drivers Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Carlos Munoz — for the Indianapolis 500.

“We’re focused on trying to get a good, balanced race car for this weekend. It’s going to be good to do this race before the ‘500’ and get settled in then focus on the big one,” Wilson said. “It’s going to be an interesting month.”

Wilson participated in on-track activity May 3 on the 2.5-mile oval (82 total laps with a fastest of 224.285 mph; 40.1276 seconds) and returns May 11 for Indy 500 practice. Qualifications are May 16-17 to determine the Verizon P1 Award winner in the Fast Nine Shootout and set the 33-car starting grid.

“Everyone (on the team) is saying the same thing about the car’s characteristics. The aero kits have changed the style of driving a little bit. I can’t wait to do more,” said Wilson, who seeks to make his eighth start in the 500 Mile Race.

Blair Perschbacher will be Wilson’s race engineer this weekend and Craig Hampson, director of Research & Development at Andretti Autosport, will be the race engineer for the No. 25 Honda for the Indianapolis 500. Hampson and Wilson worked together at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing in 2008.

“I think everyone on the Andretti team has a lot of experience,” Wilson said. “Everyone has the sole focus on getting one of the cars to win.”

Wilson competed in the Verizon IndyCar Series the past three seasons for Dale Coyne Racing and explored other opportunities in the offseason. Three separate deals “fell through,” he said, and Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti announced the two-race deal with Wilson with an eye for more during the season-opening race weekend in St. Petersburg, Fla. It’s Wilson’s goal, too.

“It’s been a long offseason, a lot of time thinking about getting back in the car and what it takes and how it’s all going to work. Just pleased to get it started,” said Wilson, who joined other Honda drivers May 5 in visiting with associates of the Honda manufacturing facility in Greensburg, Ind. “It’s just a really good team environment. It’s healthy and has been a lot of fun. My goal is I want to help and I’d like to be there more often.”


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