A.J. Foyt Undergoes Successful Knee Replacement Surgery;
Takuma Sato Enjoys Road America Test in Elkhart Lake
WALLER, TX Sept. 24, 2015— A.J. Foyt underwent surgery yesterday to implant an artificial knee in his right leg, replacing the antibiotic-infused cement spacer he received August 10th. It was the second phase of treatment for a staph infection which surfaced in his artificial knee in late July.
“My doctors said everything went perfectly, so I was relieved to hear that,” said Foyt. “My right leg was clear of the infection so the doctors were able to give me a new knee. They were really pleased with how everything went.” It is the second time that Foyt has been hospitalized with a staph infection, the first time occurred in January, 2012 in his left artificial knee. Foyt is expected to remain in the Houston hospital for several days.
While Foyt was awaiting his surgery, his race team was in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Tuesday as several teams tested at the beautiful 4-mile road course in the Wisconsin Dells area. Nine drivers from four other teams (Ganassi, Penske, Rahal Letterman Lanigan and CHF Racing) joined Sato in the Verizon IndyCar Series’ return to the historic track. The last year an IndyCar raced there was in 2007 under the Champ Car World Series sanctioning body.
Sato, who joined IndyCar in 2010, had never seen the circuit before this week but was impressed. Following are his thoughts on the experience.
On his impression of the track (before getting on it): “I had heard about how this is everyone’s favourite track and after seeing some past footage of it, I was very impressed and excited to get on it.”
On running it in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda Indy car: “Love it! The track is such a classic style - narrow and fast – and it’s an incredible feeling. So much fun! I feel it is a great fit for a powerful Indy car, and the cornering speed was very impressive plus it is surrounded by beautiful greens and woods. Great track!”
On its similarities to other tracks he’s run: “It is nothing like other tracks in the USA I’ve run, but in Europe I think perhaps it’s like a mixture of Imola in San Marino and old Hockenheim in Germany or the Brands Hatch GP course in the UK but with less elevation change. The characteristics these tracks share with Road America are that they are exceptionally narrow and fast and have a long straight with dense forest. Drivers and fans love these kinds of tracks.”
On the most thrilling part of the track: “Both the Carousel and the Kink are unbelievably fast and thrilling. You need a good commitment for Turn 1 too.”
On the passing opportunities: “I think there are a few. T1, T5 and T12 are the most popular I imagine.”
On possibility of side-by-side racing there: “It’s narrow but you can. You need a good trust and commitment but T5 has a good space for it.”
On the bratwurst (considered best in America): “No I haven’t eaten one yet but I have to then!”