AJ Foyt Racing has announced that it will be running a second car at both of this year's races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and that the driver who will be behind the wheel of the #41 entry will be 26-year-old English driver Martin Plowman.
Plowman - who competed for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in three IndyCar races in 2011 - will make his return to the championship in the new Grand Prix of Indianapolis road race at the start of May, before going in to compete in his first Indianapolis 500 later the same month.
It will be Plowman's maiden oval event in IndyCar, but he competed at IMS on two occasions in Indy Lights, with his best result a fifth place in 2010 for Andretti Autosport.
Once my career took me to sports cars I was concerned that I would never get the chance to race at and win the Indy 500," said Plowman. "I've lived in Indianapolis for the last five years, and winning there is what I dream about."
Plowman has been forging a successful sportscar career since his last Indy outing, but it's clear that this remains an itch he can't resist coming back to scratch. "Winning at Le Mans last year was an incredible feeling that can only be beaten by one day adding my face to the Borg Warner trophy," he said.
"I always kept an eye on Martin ever since I got to know him on the Indy 500 Centennial Tour," said team manager Larry Foyt. "Martin did a nice job without much seat time in the few IndyCar races he participated in, and has had great results in a tough sports car division.
"He brings the kind of attitude that helps everyone succeed," Foyt added. "I'm looking forward to working with him and I think we can achieve good results for car #41."
The car has secured primary funding from Al-Fe Heat Treating, which has been an associate sponsor of the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing team in various capacities since 2011.
"We, at Al-Fe Heat Treating, are very excited about being a primary sponsor with AJ Foyt Racing for IndyCar's inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis in our home state and before our home crowd," said Kurt Westman, President of Al-Fe Heat Treating. "Larry and I have discussed this possibility over the last season and we feel this is the perfect venue for us to step-up with the team.
"Being part of bringing Martin back to IndyCar is special and having him run both races at Indianapolis will allow us to build momentum and teamwork going into the '500'. I am looking forward to meeting Martin at this Wednesday's practice at Sebring," Westman added.
"I have to say a massive thank you to Larry and A.J. Foyt, ABC Supply, Al-Fe Heat Treating and all who have made this opportunity possible," Plowman responded. "AJ Foyt is one of the greatest drivers to have lived and someone who I look up to a lot.
"It will be an honour to represent his team in May," the driver added.
Plowman will be joined at Sebring this week by compatriot Jack Hawksworth, who is being tested by Bryan Herta Autosport.