Ben Hanley wary 2019 IndyCar project 'extremely tough'

Ben Hanley says he is fully aware that he and DragonSpeed face an "extremely tough challenge" when both make their respective IndyCar debuts in 2019.

It was confirmed on Monday that DragonSpeed will compete in a Chevrolet-powered entry on a part-time basis in 2019, participating in the five race meetings at St. Petersburg, Barber, the Indianapolis 500, Road America and Mid-Ohio.

Neither Hanley nor DragonSpeed have prior experience in IndyCar, and the Briton is conscious that the parties have a long road ahead.

"We have no illusions – it’s going to be extremely tough [next] year,” Hanley told IndyCar.com.

“There are positive points, but for us, the goal is to make the first collective test and be able to be on track with the rest of the guys at the same time to judge where the weaknesses are and where we most need to improve.

"We’ve got no experience in Indy cars from an engineering or driving point of view, so it’s going to be an uphill task. We’re viewing it as a long-term project, which is the correct way to do it."

"The intent has been there for quite a while, but obviously it’s not an easy thing to do.

"It all takes time. It takes a lot of negotiation and dialogue from the team’s point of view.

DragonSpeed has previous experience racing prototype sportscars, but none in single-seater racing.

Hanley also spoke about getting pace out of the car as quickly possible with the team's eye on a full IndyCar campaign in 2020.

"It was a lot of work behind the scenes," added Hanley. "I’ve just been trying to get prepared physically. I’ve been catching up on videos of the races and trying to judge how they pan out strategy-wise and what the racing is like.

"Obviously, we’ll need pace in the car, which is the main job when we hit the track."