Though O’Ward, 24, did not win final season, he nonetheless managed to seize a career-high seven podiums on the yr, together with 14 high 10s by way of 17 rounds to complete fourth within the championship standings. It marked the third consecutive season he was the very best ranked driver not affiliated with Chip Ganassi Racing or Team Penske.
Ward, who joined the organisation in July 2022 after the earlier 4 years at Penske that included engineering Josef Newgarden to the 2019 title, shared what he noticed out of O’Ward final season.
“Yeah, first, I believe Pato had a really sturdy yr and a yr of non-public progress,” Ward informed Autosport. “I beloved his consistency. I beloved his psychological method. He was actually a pleasure to work with. I believe everybody’s type of seen that in him. He is pushing the group to be higher, and we want that.
“I believe there’s room for one more step for him once more to essentially to get high, high degree. He is bought all of the expertise. I simply see an important focus out of him proper now.”
“I am excited with the entire lineup going into subsequent yr,” Ward mentioned. “What I might say when it comes to what we want, we have been simply lacking a bit bit in race day efficiency. We have been working fairly arduous on our facet and dealing with Chevy, which is an superior accomplice, to search out that step to get us up on the highest step subsequent yr.
Photograph by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images
Gavin Ward, Arrow McLaren
“It is a bit little bit of race day efficiency. I believe that we get just a bit bit higher executing on race day we’ll be there. With out moving into too many specifics, I really feel fairly good with what we have got coming right here.”
When pressed for particular areas of enchancment, Ward offered a large smile and fun earlier than obliging.
“I believe we should be higher on the gas economic system sport,” Ward mentioned. “I believe we bought beat a number of occasions by the Ganassis and gas technique. We’re every part that we will do to maximise that.
“We wish to be a bit higher in pitlane. We expect we are the third greatest group in pitlane. We wish to be the very best there; not far off. I believe it is doable, however we’re up in opposition to some actually sturdy rivals which have been doing this for a very long time. And simply minimising errors. I do not suppose we had quite a bit, however we had just a few.
“The opposite space for the group typically, though I might say the #5 automobile wasn’t on the brunt of that maybe as a lot as a few our different group automobiles, however we now have an actual deal with reliability.
“Enhancing our processes as a group to work with this three-car setup, extra folks does require a bit extra course of. So, this offseason, that is been an enormous focus for us, buttoning up all our procedures. Frankly, I need everyone to return in right here every single day and suppose, ‘What am I right here to do immediately?’ It is like, ‘Construct a greater race automobiles; how are we gonna try this?’ Throughout the board.”