Foyt team makes key hire, tests Meira
Vitor Meira tested with A.J. Foyt’s ABC Supply team for the first time on an oval track December 9th at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The one day test was conducted in conjunction with Firestone Tire Testing with drivers Tony Kanaan and 2008 IndyCar champion Scott Dixon. Also testing was rookie Raphael Matos in the Luczo-Dragon car.
“It was very good for the first day at an oval with the team,” said Meira afterwards. “Everything went smooth which is very important on an oval. We were able to get a feel for each other and see how we work together but we were also able to improve the car. There is still a lot of work to be done to get where we want to be but we have a good starting point. We have a lot to look forward to next year.”
Meira ran 140 laps and while no official times were given, the team was satisfied with the results.
“We learned a lot about each other,” said A.J. “Working with my new driver and new engineer, everything went about as smooth as we could hoped for. I’m happy with the results.”
Team director Larry Foyt cited the test as an opportunity to work through procedures with Meira and newly hired engineer Adam Schaechter.
Larry Foyt hired Schaechter as the team’s chief engineer last month. Schaechter started working with the team December 1; he plans to relocate to Houston in the spring and will commute to Houston from his Chicago area home until then.
“It’s always a bit of an unknown as to how everyone will communicate,” said Foyt, “but I was impressed with the way A.J., Vitor and Adam worked so well together. Adam seems like he fits right in with our group. I’m excited about our team’s potential for the season.”
Most of Schaechter’s Indy car experience was gained in the World Champ Car Series where he worked from 1999 through 2007 before the 2008 unification. He took a one-year hiatus in 2005 to work as a design engineer for Swift, a Formula Atlantic chassis manufacturer.
Schaechter has worked with some of the top drivers in the Champ Car World Series including Alex Zanardi, Alex Tagliani and most recently, Bruno Junqueira as well as rookie Mario Moraes. Schaechter’s background also includes a stint with Reynard North America, an Indy car chassis manufacturer.
Schaechter’s interest in racing began with racing go-karts as a youngster. Studying mechanical engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, he interned with Clayton Cunningham Racing and spent the next three years as a mechanic in IMSA and Trans Am sports cars with various teams. In 1990, he joined famed race car designer Roman Slobodynskyj’s firm. In 1996, he teamed up with Rod Millen’s off-road team and won the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 1997 and again in 1998.
After the race team returns to Texas, they will be heading out to Foyt’s game ranch in West Texas for their annual hunting trip this week. The game ranch, operated by Tony Foyt (A.J. Foyt III), features whitetail deer, turkey, and black buck as well as fallow and axis deer and other exotic animals. For more information, check out www.foytgameranch.com.