Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe calls it, "A dream position for a driver" as he takes the wheel of Sam Hornish Jr.'s vacated No. 6 IndyCar ride for the full 2008 Indy Racing League season.
The 26-year old Australian credits his 2007 Indianapolis 500 experience driving for Jay Penske, son of his new employer Roger Penske, and Steve Luzco as helpful in getting a leg up on the job.
"That was a big help for me," he said "(New teammate) Helio Castroneves was in the pits with me frequently, giving advice on setup and the car," while breaking the ice on a working relationship.
"Hopefully, we'll be running consistently at the front. That's the goal," Briscoe said in a teleconference on Tuesday (November 13th).
Bred for Formula 1, and for awhile the test pilot at Toyota's F1 team, Briscoe came to the United States to try his hand at IndyCar Racing after the 2004 season.
He drove for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2005, accumulating fourteen starts while toughing out the season with Toyota power when Honda's advantage was at its zenith.
Two years ago his career was threatened when he suffered a fiery crash at Chicagoland Speedway that left him rehabbing for months--first in this country, then at a specialized medical facility in Italy.
"Getting back to IndyCar has definitely been a priority. I want to have a shot at a championship and the position at Penske is a very good one," he said. "To get this chance is really unbelievable, and a step forward in my career."
"I had a chance to test recently at Milwaukee (on an oval) and Sebring (road course). I'm feeling really comfortable in the car, right back at home really."
Briscoe plans to continue his sports-car career and will contest the Sebring 12 Hours and possibly the Daytona 24 Hours endurance races next spring, IndyCar schedule permitting.