As the plan for A.J. Foyt Racing’s No. 14 Chevy was crafted, Sebastien Bourdais would take the first three NTT IndyCar Series races of the season, then hand off to Dalton Kellett, and return late in the year for a fourth and final appearance at Portland.
With the cancellation of all races through the end of April, though, the four-time Champ Car champion’s time in the car has been erased, leaving team president Larry Foyt to figure out if and when the Frenchman might climb back into the No. 14 whenever racing resumes.
“An interesting thing for our situation was three of the first four of our four races with Sebastien Bourdais were the first three races, so that’s obviously completely changed,” Foyt told RACER. “We’re really disappointed, and I know Sebastien’s disappointed. (Given) the promise he showed in pre-season testing, we were very excited to roll into St. Pete.
“I’ve been staying in touch with him. We’d love to work with him more, so we just have to figure it out, see what that looks like.”
With nothing but uncertainty on the horizon, it’s unclear how many races will be left to run once the COVID-19 virus concerns have passed. IndyCar champion and Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan is booked for all the ovals on the 2020 calendar, and, with Kellett set to cover the remaining races, Foyt will need to see how many events get saved, how many the young Canadian wants to fill, and then see where Bourdais might get a chance to make his debut in the No. 14.
Despite the lack of clarity for May through December, Foyt knows who he wants for the team’s next IndyCar campaign.
“We’re just still getting a grasp on the whole situation,” Foyt said. “But yeah, it’s definitely our intent to run him some more and to somehow have him full-time in 2021. We really enjoyed the short period of time of working together. I think he really liked the team and we liked him, and I think we were poised for some really good results.
“It’s a shame, but I think it’s also opportunity to get the groundwork going for the future.”