Alex Tagliani will drive the No.35 Alfe Heat Treating Honda for the month of May the team confirmed on Thursday.
The Canadian joins AJ Foyt Racing’s regular drivers Takuma Sato and James Jakes for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the BIG one, the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
AJ Foyt, owner of Foyt Racing commented by saying:
I’m glad to have Alex back in the car– he did a great job last year—he even led the race, It was just for a couple laps, but still he led the race. 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.
Tagliani joins fellow Canadian James Hinchcliffe who races the No.5 Arrow Electronics Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda in the field for the famous event.
Speaking about the partnership, Kurt Westman, CEO and founder of Alfe Heat Treating Inc, commented by saying:
We chose the number 35 because it is the number of consecutive starts A.J. had at the Brickyard as well as being A.J.’s birth year, a lucky number, We are happy to have Alex back as he did a great job for us last year, and we are hopeful for an even better performance this year.
Tagliani drove in last years Indianapolis 500 with AJ Foyt Racing and his Verizon IndyCar Series career spans 16 seasons and he has competed in 203 IndyCar Series events. Speaking following the announcement, the Canadian commented by saying:
I feel very privileged and honored to be driving the Alfe Heat Treating Honda, 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 hasn’t raced on a road course in IndyCar since 2013 and has never competed in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and speaking about that event he said:
I’m looking forward to driving the Indy road course in an Indy car. I’ve heard a lot of amazing things on the performance of the car, It will be difficult because I haven’t driven an Indy car on a road course in several years. Jumping in the car on a road course in something that is very new will be tough, but the positive is that I will be in the car for the month of May. 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.
AJ Foyt concluded by saying:
Alfe’s been a great associate sponsor for us, 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 by choosing the number 35, 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.
The next race on the Verizon IndyCar Series calendar sees the teams and drivers head to Phoenix International Raceway for the Phoenix Grand Prix, the first oval event of the season which takes place from April 1-2.