Less than a week after announcing that Tony Kanaan would return to the No. 14 Chevrolet for five races, AJ Foyt Racing announced the rest of their plans for that car this season. Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will be in the cockpit for four races, while rookie Dalton Kellett will be behind the wheel for the remaining eight events, including the Indianapolis 500 in a third entry. The 26-year old has spent the past four seasons in Indy Lights.
Bourdais lost his ride with Dale Coyne Racing at the absolute worst time and was left without a full-time ride in the NTT IndyCar Series. While the bulk of his duties will be in sports cars this year, Bourdais will get to race in the season-opener at St Petersburg, Barber, Long Beach, and Portland. All three drivers will participate in the Open Test at COTA next week. Gathering information will be critical, as that will be Kellett’s first race. The full press release from today is below.
[AJ Foyt Racing Press Release]
Four-time Champ Car Series champion Sebastien Bourdais and Canadian rookie Dalton Kellett complete the driver roster for the No. 14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet.
Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan, who announced last week that this year will be his final season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, will drive the No. 14 in the five oval races, starting with the Indy 500 on May 24.
Joining AJ Foyt Racing for the first time is Bourdais, who will pilot the No. 14 in four races including the season opener in St. Petersburg, Fla. He will also compete at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala., the streets of Long Beach, Calif., and the road course in Portland, Ore. Bourdais returns to Chevrolet power for the first time since the 2016 IndyCar season. Born in Le Mans, France nearly 12 years after Foyt’s triumph there in 1967, Bourdais now lives in St. Petersburg.
“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 will make his INDYCAR debut at the Circuit of the Americas race in Austin, Texas on April 26. He will also compete in the Indianapolis Grand Prix, the Indy 500, both races in Detroit, Elkhart Lake, Wis., Toronto, Lexington, Ohio (Mid-Ohio) and Monterey, Calif.
Kellett, 26, is a graduate of the Mazda Road to Indy driver development system. He competed in the US F-2000 Series, made a brief showing in the Pro Mazda Series and spent much of his time (four years) in the Indy Lights Series where he ranked seventh in the final two seasons. In addition to Indy Lights in 2019, Kellett made a foray into the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship where he claimed three class victories and one pole in the LMP2 division.
“I am honored to compete in the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES with AJ Foyt Racing,” Kellett said. “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.”
Team President Larry Foyt believes that the multi-driver roster will help the team regain its footing in the highly competitive NTT INDYCAR SERIES this season. With Kanaan and Bourdais, who combined, have won 54 races and 49 poles, plus an eager young driver like Kellett, Foyt is working towards building his team for the future.
“There will be many familiar faces in the Foyt garages this season, but there will be some new faces as well,” 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. 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.”
Both Bourdais and Kellett, along with Charlie Kimball who will drive the No. 4 Chevrolet this season, will participate in the upcoming Open Test at the Circuit of the Americas February 11-12.
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be held Sunday, March 15. The race will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network starting at 3:30 p.m. ET.