Takuma Sato could be set for a move to AJ Foyt Racing in 2013, with reports this week linking the Japanese former F1 driver to the motor racing icon's #14 car next season.
reported on Tuesday that the deal "is actually close to being finalised," even though the original suggestion of Sato joining the team had raised eyebrows over how Sato and the famously fiery Foyt would be able to get on.
Sato raced for the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team in 2012, and came close to winning the Indianapolis 500 before crashing out on the final lap while duelling with Dario Franchitti. However, Sato's seat at RLL has now been filled by Graham Rahal, leaving him looking for a new berth in 2013.
Mike Conway raced for Foyt in 2012, but his decision to quit oval racing - which led to him sitting out the season finale at Auto Club Speedway in September in favour of Wade Cunningham - means that his future with the team and even in IndyCar is currently up in the air.
The situation at AJ Foyt Racing is further complicated by confirmation from the team that they will be running GP3 star Conor Daly at next week's two-day test session at Sebring International Raceway scheduled for December 12-13.
“Conor Daly is one of the exciting up-and-coming drivers in open wheel racing today,” said Larry Foyt, team director of AJ Foyt Racing. “I had spoken to Conor at the F1 race in Austin and I was impressed. I thought this test was a perfect opportunity to see how he works with our team. Depending on how it goes, we may be able to do something with him in the future."
It's not thought that any actual race seat is in the offing for Daly, who is the son of former F1 and CART driver Derek Daly.
However, the news has led to speculation that the team might be pursuing the possibility of a second race car operation alongside the #14, with Daly possibly joining either Conway or Cunningham in a part-time car-share arrangement.
"I am honoured to have the opportunity to drive an Indycar for the first time with AJ Foyt Racing,” said Daly after the news of his test next week was revealed. "I've grown up at the Indy 500 and have always dreamed of getting in an IndyCar someday.