Team President LARRY FOYT opines on spending summers on Lake Travis, the challenges facing his team this season and racing at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). We asked him a few questions…
Q: The first race at COTA—what are you looking forward to?
LF: “It’s going to be great to drive to a race and not have to fly because it’s close to home. We have a lot of family and friends coming to the race, that’s always exciting. A lot of our team members’ families are coming so there’s a little bit of added pressure, not that there’s not enough of that already. It’ll be a lot of fun to be close to home; you always want to do well when you are close to home, but that type of track has been our Achilles heel the last couple of years. We were struggling with the new aero to find what the car wants at that type of track. The guys have been working really hard to find a new direction, so I think the cars are going to be starting a little differently as we try to narrow in on which way we need to go.”
Q: Is COTA similar to other tracks on the IndyCar schedule?
LF: “COTA is pretty smooth…maybe the Indy GP track would be the most similar. At the open test we weren’t great but we were encouraged by some things. Matheus did a great job finding a direction he wanted to go and Tony was running through a lot of big ticket items—meaning changes that took more time, so he was really running through a test list. I’m not really sure what he’s going to have there but we left feeling like Matheus was heading in the right direction. The thing with IndyCar right now is that the field is so tight that if you find two or three tenths (of a second), it really moves you up the grid.”
Q: What is the biggest challenge coming to a completely new track?
LF: “For us it’s still that type of circuit which has not been our strong suit. So our challenge is the same. It’s nice to come in on equal footing but everyone’s had the open test, everyone has data, everybody knows where their ride heights are, so it’s not too different from a normal race weekend. We’ll have to see how the track grips up, it looks like we could have some weather which will be very interesting. There are a lot of things that get thrown at you on an IndyCar weekend and the teams who adapt to it best are the ones who are up front at the end of the weekend.”
Q: Your parents have a house on Lake Travis, what are your memories of it?
LF: “I grew up there in the summers on Lake Travis, it was wonderful. I really miss it. I saw the house and I haven’t been there in two or three years because we get so busy and it’s a shame because I certainly do miss the lake house. I have a lot of great memories. It’s amazing how much everything around there has grown up. When I was a kid, it felt like your own private lake during the week days but now there are houses everywhere. It’s a beautiful area and I do miss hanging out there—it’s a shame work gets in the way.”