AJ Foyt Racing has confirmed that it has signed with American Honda and its Honda Performance Development (HPD) subsidiary to power their cars with the new specification turbocharged 2.2-litre Honda Indy V-6 in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series.
The confirmation comes as the series switches to a new specification of engine and opens up competition in engine supply to include Chevrolet and Lotus as well as long-term IndyCar supplier Honda.
"I am really looking forward to working with Honda next year," commented four‑time Indianapolis 500 winner AJ Foyt, who owns the team. "I think they will provide us with the best engines in 2012 because they have the best resources ... Their facility in [Santa Clarita,] California is unbelievable. I was very impressed!"
"We really feel like Honda knows how to win, just like AJ does," said team director Larry Foyt, AJ's son. "We all have a common goal, so that's why we're kind of excited to be part of the Honda family. We think together it's going to get us back where we need to be."
It's the second signing for 2012 for Honda following the earlier announcement that Target Chip Ganassi Racing had signed with Honda in May, while Team Penske have already signed a deal with Chevrolet. Lotus do not currently have any teams signed up for next season.
"AJ Foyt is a living legend in American racing, and it's an honor to announce the continuation of our association in the IZOD IndyCar Series," said Honda Performance Development president Erik Berkman. "We see the Foyt team as being the team that has an awful lot of followers, a lot of fans. It represents the values of IndyCar racing.
"We've been talking about how we can work together to make each other better, and I see opportunities for Honda to be better through what the Foyt organization can bring to us. And, similarly, we're going to work together to help them become a race team that can get back into the winner's circle."
AJ and Larry Foyt are likewise aiming to rejuvenate the team, which is a pale shadow of the team that took Scott Sharp to the driver's title in 1996 and Kenny Brack in 1998. Currently the team field only one car driven by Vitor Meira who is 13th in the championship, and although the team successfully qualified a second car into this year's Indianapolis 500 they opted to "sell" the seat to Andretti Autosport after that team failed to get Ryan Hunter-Reay into the race in their own car.
"We had a good format going with Honda, and I just want to keep it going because we've got to get back into Victory Circle," agreed AJ. "We've got to beat Penske and Target. They can be beat. Like I said, we used to beat them, so why can't we start again?
"If we do get the opportunity to put one together, we really want a first-class operation," he added. "We've talked to about three or four different drivers, so if we got a second car it might make that first car run harder."
The Foyts also confirmed that they have retained ABC Supply Co. as the primary sponsor of the #14 car for 2012.