By: Spencer Neff
February 4, 2020 | 7:00 PM
As the new season draws closer, teams continue to put the finishing touches on their plans for 2020. In the last two weeks, A.J. Foyt Racing has made headlines as the team finalizes its driver lineup for the upcoming season.
Tuesday, the team confirmed four-time ChampCar series champion Sebastien Bourdais and former Indy Lights driver Dalton Kellett will split road and street course driving responsibilities for the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet entry.
Bourdais ready for new challenge
Looking to win his third race on the St. Petersburg, Florida street course, 2017 and 2018 race winner Bourdais will pilot the car in the March 15 season opener. From there, Bourdais will also pilot the car at Barber Motorsports Park and the Long Beach street course in April. On September 6, Bourdais will wrap up his 2020 slate at the Portland International Raceway.
“I am such a lucky man,” Bourdais said. “Starting my IndyCar career driving for Paul Newman and Carl Haas, and now I get to drive for A.J. Foyt!”
” I am both honored and thankful for the opportunity Larry and his team have provided me with. Staying in the NTT IndyCar series seemed like a long shot back in November. My teammates and I will be working very hard to deliver the results this organization deserves, and I can’t wait for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg to come.”
Kellett preparing for IndyCar debut
For Kellett, he will make his IndyCar debut after spending the last four years racing Indy Lights. During that span, the Stouville, Ontario native scored six third-place finishes in 70 starts dating back to 2013. Last year, Kellett earned a podium at his home race in Toronto driving for Juncos Racing.
In addition, Kellett won three LMP2 (Le Mans Prototype) races as part of PR1 / Mathiasen Motorsports at Mosport, Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans. On April 26, Kellett will make his IndyCar debut in the AutoNation IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas.
From there, Kellett will run at both Indianapolis Motor Speedway events in May, including a third team entry for the Indianapolis 500. He will also compete at Road America, Toronto, Mid-Ohio. On September 20, Kellett will compete in the season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
“I am honored to compete in the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES with AJ Foyt Racing,” Kellett said on Tuesday.
“This opportunity is truly a dream come true for me, dating back to my days looking up to the drivers in INDYCAR back as a young go-karter. The pedigree and achievements of AJ Foyt Racing are historic in our sport, and I can’t wait to contribute to their ongoing success.”
“This season, there will be plenty to learn including the exciting challenge of adapting to an all new car for me. Luckily, I am fortunate to be partnered with three series veterans in Kanaan, Kimball, and Bourdais. I’m looking forward to working with them and learning from their combined experience to grow as a driver. Thank you to the team and my partners for this opportunity. It will be an honor to represent K-Line Insulators USA at this level of the sport.”
Foyt seeking rebound as new decade begins
For the fourth consecutive year, the driver line-up has shuffled at A.J. Foyt Racing.
On January 28, Tony Kanaan announced that 2020 will be his last season as a primary IndyCar driver. In “TK’s Last Lap”, he will drive the No. 14 as he did the previous two seasons. This year, Kanaan will only participate in the five oval events, beginning with the 104th Indianapolis 500 on May 24.
Six days earlier, longtime IndyCar driver Charlie Kimball was announced as the full-time driver for the No. 4 entry. Last year, Kimball appeared in just seven races for Carlin Racing.
Despite the struggles of previous seasons, the team remains optimistic about their future.
“There will be many familiar faces in the Foyt garages this season, but there will be some new faces as well,” Team President Larry Foyt said.
“Coming off a season we were disappointed with, changes were inevitable. I believe adding a multi-time champion like Sebastien Bourdais to our team will help us as we regroup and work to regain a competitive position,” Foyt added of Bourdais.
“Being able to retain Indy 500 champion Tony Kanaan is another source of excitement and will serve to push our oval program to a place where we can fight for victories. Dalton Kellett is a young driver who is intelligent and motivated, and with the experience around him, we feel he has the potential to show great things. Altogether, the 14 car has an intriguing lineup, and I’m excited to see how it plays out.”
With their 2020 plans now firmed up, A.J. Foyt Racing will not have to wait long to begin preparations in earnest. Next Tuesday, Bourdais, Kellett and Kimball will head to the 3.41-mile, 20-turn Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
There, Foyt and the other teams of the NTT IndyCar Series teams will take part in testing on February 11 and 12.
Header Image By A.J, Foyt Racing