until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Bourdais could transform Foyt on road courses – Kanaan

by Matt Beer
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Tony Kanaan believes that AJ Foyt Racing’s signing of Sebastien Bourdais for a partial schedule this season could help it turn around its fortunes on IndyCar’s road and street courses.

The team struggled in road and street races last season, a single top five for Matheus Leist at the Indianapolis road course being the team’s best result.

But with four-time Champ Car champion Bourdais joining the team over the winter, along with proven engineers Mike Colliver and Mike Pawlowski, Kanaan is expecting a step forward.

“I believe he [Bourdais] can bring a lot of experience on the road and street courses that we actually lacked last year,” Kanaan said.

“We got totally lost and we couldn’t get a handle on what we needed to change, so with his insight, he hopefully will bring a lot of the things he has learned with Colliver back at Dale Coyne that they will try to apply because that was definitely our weakest point.”

Kanaan is only running the five oval races with Foyt in what will be his final year of IndyCar.

He revealed that he hasn’t been too involved with engineering meetings regarding road and street courses because there is a chance that he could run those races for another team this year.

After being given the option of a partial campaign at Foyt, Kanaan chose an oval-only schedule to capitalise on the team’s strengths, but he admitted there was “a possibility” he could do the remaining races elsewhere.

“Our oval cars were pretty decent in comparison to our street and road course course cars,” he said.

“Somebody told me the other day that if you put my points in the ovals together I would be in the top 10 in the championship, just the ovals.

“That doesn’t matter because we don’t do that but that was one of the reasons why I actually chose just to do the ovals because, when it was presented to me that I couldn’t do a full season, I knew our strengths and my strength was that.

“I have my obligations with Foyt, it’s the five ovals and I’m totally open for it.”

Sebastien Bourdais AJ Foyt Racing IndyCar COTA test 2020

He added that any deal with another team didn’t necessarily need to be with one of Foyt’s fellow Chevrolet runners, though he has not yet discussed the matter with his current team’s engine supplier.

“I haven’t talked to Chevy about that but I don’t think so,” said Kanaan when asked if he would have to stick to Chevrolet teams.

“It’ll be nicer but no, my relationship with Honda goes back a long way – even in the off-season we worked quite hard to see if I could secure a full-time [seat] for my last full season.”

Kanaan also revealed a little more about the look of his car for the confirmed oval races, hinting that a throwback livery to his popular 7Eleven scheme used at Andretti Green Racing – including in his championship-winning season – could adorn his car at some point in 2020.

“Out of the five races we’re going to have four different liveries, so only once are we going to repeat,” he said.

“Maybe a car that won a lot of races with me, a fan favourite car that I keep getting asked [about].”

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