AJ Foyt Racing expects star IndyCar signing Tony Kanaan to push it

AJ Foyt Racing is relying on 2004 IndyCar champion Tony Kanaan to bring out the best in it, according to team president Larry Foyt

AJ Foyt Racing expects star IndyCar signing Tony Kanaan to push it

Kanaan left Ganassi to join Foyt at the end of 2017 for a chance to be the lead driver within a team.

He has since been partnered with fellow Brazilian and former Indy Lights driver Matheus Leist for 2018, making this the second successive season in which Foyt has replaced its entire driver line-up.

Foyt says that the wholesale changes to the team's s staffing and drivers does not mean it is disadvantaged, as it was still able to attract Kanaan - who is bringing long-time engineer Eric Cowdin with him.

"I don't feel like it was a complete overhaul," Foyt said.

"The driver/engineer combos are new, but they are plugged into something we have been building over the last few years.

"What we have been building has allowed us to attract a Kanaan/Cowdin pairing, and they will help take us to the next level.

"Tony is in a great situation wherein a team is being built around him with some familiar faces who believe in him.

"We all have the same goals, and nothing is a wholesale change from the way we operated in the past.

"It's basically us believing in Tony and his leadership to get the best from him, and Tony pushing us to be the best team we can be."

Cowdin and Kanaan won the 2013 Indianapolis 500 together, and Foyt believes partnering his lead driver with key personnel from his past will push the team on.

"Probably the most important relationship in a race team is the driver/engineer relationship," he said.

"Having Tony Kanaan and Eric Cowdin together is like bringing a long and happily married couple to the group.

"That relationship, already being familiar and successful, certainly has helped speed our progress."

AJ Foyt will enter its second year with Chevrolet as its engine manufacturer and Foyt believes a year's experience will prevent a repeat of last year's disappointment - with former drivers Conor Daly and Carlos Munoz finishing 18th and 16th in the 2017 standings.

"Going into last season, we were learning a new engine, as well as new drivers and new engineers," he said.

"It's great to be entering our second year with Chevrolet. Having the understanding of how each other works, and all the players involved, puts us in a much nicer place compared to the beginning of last season.

"True, we do have two new drivers this year, but it was important for us to have our plans done early.

"Last year, our programme came together too late and we started the season on the back foot.

"For this season we were able to get everything buttoned up soon after the final race of '17.

"This enabled us to implement an aggressive winter testing programme and be on track with Tony before the new year came."

shares
comments
The emerging threat to IndyCar's giants

Previous article

The emerging threat to IndyCar's giants

Next article

St Petersburg IndyCar: Foyt's rookie Leist leads first practice

St Petersburg IndyCar: Foyt's rookie Leist leads first practice
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan
Author David Malsher
Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans? Plus

Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans?

IndyCar's gold standard teams Ganassi and Penske are set for another slugfest beginning this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. A poor start to the first season with the new aeroscreen left Josef Newgarden with too much ground to make up on Scott Dixon in the title chase, but his strong end to 2020 suggests a battle royale lies ahead...

IndyCar
Apr 16, 2021
The six major IndyCar subplots to follow in 2021 Plus

The six major IndyCar subplots to follow in 2021

From rookies arriving with big reputations to veterans who still have the fire and an F1-linked squad pushing to join the big leagues, IndyCar has it all this year. Here are six of the key storylines to keep track of

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed Plus

The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed

Often unfairly characterised as a car-breaker, judged for his lack of an Indianapolis 500 win and a disappointing part-season of Formula 1 in 1993, Michael Andretti was highly respected by his rivals and only thwarted greater success by ill-fortune. When it all came together in 1991, he was a truly formidable force

IndyCar
Mar 6, 2021
How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite Plus

How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite

The second year of McLaren's full-time IndyCar return is looming, with Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up. Strong team personnel and work behind the scenes means that 2021 could be the year it joins the established elite

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart Plus

The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart

Flashes of brilliance amid spells of obscurity have been too common for Marco Andretti. While the third-generation racer has opted to bring his full-time IndyCar career to a close, his peaks and troughs have never been for want of trying

IndyCar
Jan 20, 2021
Why American racing's top dog is without equal Plus

Why American racing's top dog is without equal

A byword for success in business and in motorsport for over 50 years, Roger Penske's importance to the US scene cannot be understated. In an exclusive interview, the custodian of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway reflects on his journey

IndyCar
Jan 11, 2021
The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete Plus

The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indycar game-changer that won its third Indianapolis 500 five years after its debut

IndyCar
Dec 22, 2020
Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough Plus

Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough

Josef Newgarden feels he didn't put a foot wrong in 2020, yet his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield a third series championship. But in a warning shot to Scott Dixon, Team Penske's team leader has vowed to redouble his efforts in 2021

IndyCar
Dec 21, 2020