The AJ Foyt Racing team was fortunate to escape with less damage than one might expect after Matheus Leist’s car caught fire in the early stages of Saturday night’s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
The Brazilian rookie reported a loss of power from his twin-turbo V6 Chevrolet engine in Turn 1, and by the time he coasted to a halt in Turn 3, the right side of the No. 4 ABC Supply car was engulfed in flames. It took approximately 40 seconds for the emergency crew to point a fire extinguisher bottle at the fire but despite the prolonged wait, team president Larry Foyt says Leist’s car should be repairable.
“It could have been way worse for sure,” he told RACER. “We’ll have the tub tested and twisted to make sure. The roll hoop piece that was on fire isn’t part of the main tub structure; it’s a bolt-on and it comes off. Integrity wise, where the engine mounts to the tub, it’s all fine. It was a lot of cosmetic stuff.”
Leist will test at Road America on Wednesday while chassis supplier Dallara performs tests on the Texas chassis.
“That was his speedway car that got hurt, so we got it stripped down and headed to Dallara,” Foyt added. “[Leist] will be in his road course car for the Road America test, so the fire won’t inconvenience us that in that regard, but hopefully we hear back that everything’s OK with it and we can get it built up and ready to go again. We can’t seem to catch a break lately.”