Former Indy 500 polesitter and Rookie of the Year Alex Tagliani will drive a third AJ Foyt Racing entry at both the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
The Canadian veteran will pilot the #35 Alfe Heat Treating Dallara-Honda, its number honoring team founder A.J. Foyt’s record 35 consecutive starts in the Indianapolis 500, from 1958 through 1992. The car’s livery also honors the black Copenhagen cars Foyt drove in the latter part of his legendary career.
Tagliani, who competed for Foyt in the Indy 500 last year, will this year also drive in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis two weeks earlier. It will be his first time on the Indianapolis road course.
“I feel very privileged and honored to be driving the Alfe Heat Treating Honda,” said Tagliani, who won Rookie of the Year award with Conquest Racing in 2009 and earned pole for the 2011 Indy 500 with Schmidt Peterson Motorsport. “Alfe is a great company and I met a lot of good people last year with their headquarters being so close to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I’m very excited to be driving for the AJ Foyt Racing organization again. To be driving for them at the Speedway during the month of May is very special. The 100th Running of the Indy 500 will make it even more unique.”
Tagliani, who last raced an IndyCar on road/street courses in 2013, said: "I’m looking forward to driving the Indy road course in an IndyCar – I’ve heard a lot of amazing things on the performance of the car.
“It will be difficult because I haven’t driven an IndyCar on a road course in several years. Getting used to the guys and working with the team is very important if you want to maximize the performance of the driver, the team and the car. Hopefully we can do a good job for the whole Alfe team and everyone who has been so supportive of me like Sexton Properties and everyone I’ve been involved with at the Speedway over the last two years.”
Alfe Heat Treating returns for the sixth straight season as an associate sponsor of the #14 and #41 cars of Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth.
“Alfe’s been a great associate sponsor for us,” said four-time Indy 500 winner AJ Foyt. “We couldn’t work with nicer people and they are always 100 percent behind the team, so I can’t ask for much more than that.
“It’s great that they want to recognize my 35 starts at Indy, and when I see that car looking like some of my old race cars, well that will be pretty special too. I hope the fans get a kick out of it.
“I’m glad to have Alex back in the car. He did a great job last year – he even led the race,” Foyt pointed out. “We know he can run fast. Plus I think the crew will be a little more tuned up this year by doing two races instead of one.”