A.J. Foyt Racing has today confirmed the final drivers that will complete their line-up for the upcoming 2020 NTT IndyCar Series. Series veteran Sebastien Bourdais and rookie Dalton Kellett will share the #14 Chevrolet with the previously announced Tony Kanaan. Bourdais and Kellett will share the #14 car between themselves on the road and street course races before handing over to Kanaan for the oval races. Kellett will also contest the Indianapolis 500 in an additional entry.
It was announced on Thursday that Tony Kanaan would be scaling back to a part-time, oval-only campaign for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series as he prepares to make his farewell to the IndyCar Series. This announcement left a vacancy in the #14 A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet for the remaining twelves races on the calendar that take place on road courses or street circuits.
Today, however, those vacancies were filled. A.J. Foyt Racing announced today that two drivers would race the #14 Chevrolet on the road courses and street circuits throughout the course of 2020, with series veteran Sebastien Bourdais joining the squad alongside IndyCar rookie, Dalton Kellett.
For Bourdais, the deal means that he will get to keep racing after being dropped by Dale Coyne Racing in favour of Santino Ferrucci and Alex Palou for 2020. Bourdais will race on four occasions this year, including the first three races of the season at St. Petersburg, Barber Motorsports Park and Long Beach. After that, he will have to wait almost five months for his final time in the #14 car in 2020, which will come at the penultimate round of the season at Portland International Raceway in September.
In today’s announcement, Bourdais spoke of how he felt honoured to be driving for A.J. Foyt and that he was looking forward to racing in his home town of St. Petersburg next month.
“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 honoured 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.”
The experience of Bourdais will be contrasted by his rookie team-mate, Dalton Kellett. The twenty-six-year-old Canadian will make his NTT IndyCar Series debut at the Circuit of the Americas in April; the first of nine appearances during the 2020 season.
Kellett makes his debut after competing in Indy Lights full-time for the last four years. Racing for Andretti Autosport from 2016 to 2018 and for Juncos Racing in 2019, Dalton has picked up six podium finishes during his time in Indy Lights, but never a victory. His highest championship finish was seventh-place in both 2018 and 2019, but on both occasions, he was in the bottom two of the full-time entrants in those respective seasons.
Kellett will be hoping that his graduation to the NTT IndyCar Series will perhaps yield him some stronger showings. As previously mentioned, his first race will come at the Circuit of the Americas in April, followed up by the Grand Prix of Indianapolis at the beginning of May.
Kellett will vacate the cockpit of the #14 Chevrolet for Tony Kanaan at the Indianapolis 500, but he will be on the grid for the famous race in an additional third-entry for A.J. Foyt Racing. After that, he will return to the #14 car for the following weekend’s doubleheader at Detroit. Dalton will also race at Road America, Toronto, Mid-Ohio and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Kellett spoke today of how he was excited to be making the step up to the NTT IndyCar Series and also how he would be hoping to learn from his experienced team-mates, Bourdais, Kanaan and Charlie Kimball.
“I am honoured 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 honour to represent K-Line Insulators USA at this level of the sport.”
A.J. Foyt himself also shared his excitement around his new line-up for the 2020 season. He spoke today of how the changes for this season were “inevitable” after struggling for the last two seasons and how he hopes that his new line-up will be able to drive them back to the level that they believe they should be competing at.
“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.”
The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series will kick-off with the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 15. Sebastien Bourdais will be behind the wheel of the #14 A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet alongside his new team-mate, Charlie Kimball, in the #4 car.