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IndyCar 2016 team preview: A.J. Foyt Enterprises

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NBC Sports takes a look through the teams competing in the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series. While A.J. Foyt remains and will always be a legend of the sport, his team hasn’t had a legendary year in a while, and may find it tough again to stand out in a deep 2016 field.

Team: A.J. Foyt Enterprises
Engine/aero kits: Honda
Sponsors: ABC Supply Co. (Nos. 14, 41)

2015 STATS

Races: 16
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (Sato 1)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 2 (Sato 1, Hawksworth 1)
Points: 606 (Sato 323, Hawksworth 256, Tagliani 27)
Laps Led: 64 (Sato 46, Hawksworth 16, Tagliani 2)
Championship Position: 14th (Sato), 17th (Hawksworth), 37th (Tagliani)

2016 LINEUP (Engineers in parentheses)

14 Takuma Sato (Raul Prados)
41 Jack Hawksworth (Dan Hobbs)

2015 RECAP (Sato, Hawksworth driver recaps)

It was a tough and largely anonymous year for both drivers, as Foyt went back to a two-car team for the first time in more than a decade. Sato bagged a podium in the rain at Detroit race two and was consistent, plus error-free, as he improved from 18th in points in 2014 to 14th last year. Hawksworth didn’t have much to hang his hat on, although there were a couple events where he overachieved thanks to some good strategy calls and recovery drives.

2016 OUTLOOK

Big changes are in store here for the Larry Foyt-led team following a largely anonymous 2015 season. George Klotz, formerly of Andretti Autosport, is installed as team director, and both drivers have new engineers. Raul Prados moves from Hawksworth’s entry to Sato’s, while Dan Hobbs joins Hawksworth’s No. 41 entry from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

We more or less know what Sato is after six full-time seasons, but Hawksworth is a less proven quantity at the IndyCar level after his first two years and must find a way to improve. This is his third engineer in as many seasons, and the hope for 2016 must be that he recaptures his 2014-at-Bryan Herta Autosport with Todd Malloy engineering form rather than his output from last year. It’s hard to see this team scoring more than a handful of podiums and/or cracking the top-10 in points with either driver – not for lack of talent, but just owing to the depth of the overall field.

Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified

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FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

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