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Santino Ferrucci retained by AJ Foyt Racing for 2024

Written by Archie O’Reilly, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Image Credit: Travis Hinkle

Santino Ferrucci will continue at AJ Foyt Racing in the NTT IndyCar Series in 2024, the team have confirmed. The American driver thus appears to complete what the team intend to be a two-car lineup alongside Sting Ray Robb, who was announced to be driving the new No.41 car for Foyt in December.

Although not mentioned in the team's press release, this most likely means Benjamin Pedersen departs the team despite supposedly having signed a multi-year deal ahead of his rookie season last year.

Pedersen, who drove the outgoing No.55 car for the team last year, laid claim to the second seat last month by expressing how much he was looking forward to getting on track alongside Robb in a statement. This came only hours after Team President Larry Foyt had said there were still details to work through in terms of Foyt's second driver.

"I'm super stoked to be back with the team," the returning Ferrucci said in the team's release. "It's really good to start building some continuity with everybody and I think it's going to improve our results."

Foyt will hope to be bolstered by a budding technical alliance with IndyCar powerhouses Team Penske, which should help improve areas such as damper development — crucial with IndyCar being a part-spec series with limited room for development. This excites Ferrucci.

"My expectations for the year are to come out of the gate a lot more prepared than we were last year," he said. "Working with Penske, things are hopefully going to be a lot smoother and I'm looking forward to being back at the Indy 500 again." Larry Foyt added: "I'm very happy to have Santino back. We worked well together, and he brings a good energy to the team. Obviously, we have our eyes set on the Indy 500, but we also had some good pace in other races but didn't get the results. Together we are focused on moving up in the championship standings and I believe we can achieve that."

Ferrucci made his debut in IndyCar for Dale Coyne Racing in 2018, competing full-time for the first time for the team in 2019, and then 2020 too, finishing 13th-place in the championship in each year. During this period of 31 races, he managed 12 top-10 finishes.

The young American then endured two years of only part-time drives before returning to IndyCar with Foyt in 2023. He was trialled for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL), and deputised for both RLL and Juncos Hollinger Racing, also featuring in the Indianapolis 500 for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in 2022.

It is at the Indy 500 where Ferrucci, who has proved a strong oval driver, has really made a name for himself, finishing inside the top 10 in each of his five appearances in the illustrious race. He finished seventh on debut, before coming home fourth, sixth, and 10th.

For Foyt in 2023, Ferrucci gained his first IndyCar podium with a third-place in his fifth Indy 500. It was a stellar Month of May for the 25-year-old, who also qualified fourth for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing this year.

The first year back in IndyCar for Ferrucci, aside from the Indy 500, was inconsistent for a team struggling for much performance. He failed to finish inside the top 10 aside from his podium at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, rounding out the season in 19th-place with an average race finishing position only one place better than that.

Ferrucci will continue as the team's most experienced driver in 2024 alongside Robb, who finished four places ahead of Pedersen in the 2022 Indy Lights championship and 18 points clear in his rookie IndyCar season. Foyt will likely benefit from having a lineup not entirely consisting of sophomore drivers.


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