Seats for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series continue to fill, with the announcement overnight that 2011 race-winner Mike Conway has signed to drive for AJ Foyt Enterprises.
Timing his final pit stop perfectly to coincide with a late safety car, combined with a master-class in overtaking saw Conway take a hard-fought victory on the streets of Long Beach (pictured top) earlier this season.
It was a just reward for a fighter who sat out most of the 2010 season recovering from leg and back injuries sustained in a horrendous last-lap accident at the Indy 500 that year, where Conway’s car took off into the catch fencing after launching off the back of Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Long Beach aside, Conway appeared to struggle through the majority of 2011 with the Andretti Autosports team, having difficulty getting to grips with his car. Highlights were six Top-10 qualifying results and four top-ten finishes. The lowlight of the year would have to be failing to qualify for the Indy 500 this past season.
Moving from his single-season home at Andretti Autosports, Conway was optimistic at the challenge presented at his new home for next season.
“I can’t wait to start work with the AJ Foyt Racing team and to drive the No. 14 ABC Supply Car. It’s going to be an exciting season with the new cars and multiple engine manufacturers. Hopefully we can hit the ground running with off-season developments and be quick out the box. I’m counting the days until the first test and the start of the season.”
Foyt was equally confident, both at being able to put the question of who would drive for him next year to bed, as well as the hope for improved results in 2012.
"With the Series having twice as many road courses as ovals, we looked for a driver who is fast on those tracks and Mike has certainly proved himself in that area. I’m looking forward to working with him,” Foyt said.
[Article by Matt Lennon; image via Racin’ Today]