Race Engineer Jeff Britton joins A.J. Foyt Racing
Jeff Britton, of Indianapolis, has joined A.J. Foyt Racing as chief engineer of the No. 14 ABC Supply Indy car driven by Vitor Meira. Britton will be renewing an alliance with Meira as the two men worked together in 2005 when Meira finished second in the Indianapolis 500 for the first time.
“I’m very excited to be joining the A.J. Foyt Racing family,” Britton said. “I’m looking forward to being able to rely on the wealth of experience that A.J. has and also working with Vitor again. He makes things very easy for engineers because he can boil down the problems of the car to the biggest problem. He enables you to work on one thing at a time to really make progress in setting up the race car.
“The other thing is his attitude; he has the most positive attitude of any driver I’ve ever worked with,” said the Indiana University graduate. “He never gets upset in the car, always has his emotions in check and is constantly trying to push the team in a positive direction.”
Britton’s respect for Meira is mutual. The 33-year-old Brazilian revealed, “Jeff was the first guy that I had big results with—the first time that I finished second at the [Indy] 500 was with him. We had three cars on the team, Buddy [Rice] and Danica [Patrick] were in the other two cars and we were much faster than both of them so I always thought that we worked well together. I like the way he works. He’s very quiet, you tell him what the car is doing and what the problems are, then he asks you to leave and he thinks about it and comes up with a solution. It’s very simple. I think it will be good, very good.” Team director Larry Foyt interviewed several candidates before hiring Britton who brings 15 years of Indy car experience to the team.
“In the end, I liked the fact that Jeff worked well with Vitor and together they had some good results,” said Foyt. “With the limited practice time that you have on race weekends, it really helps to bring in someone who can communicate well with Vitor, so we aren’t starting from square one. With Jeff having been around the IRL since its inception, he and A.J. have a lot of common experience and that also was important in our final decision.”
Britton’s experience includes stints with Treadway Racing, Kelley Racing (when driver Scott Sharp won the 2001 pole at Indianapolis), Access Motorsports (Greg Ray), and Mo Nunn Racing (Tora Takagi). In 2005 he joined Rahal-Letterman Racing where he worked with Meira in 2005, Rice in 2006 and Sharp in 2007. Britton moved to Vision Racing in 2008 where he spent the past two years working with Ed Carpenter.
Following tomorrow’s IndyCar Series meeting in Indianapolis for drivers and owners, both driver and engineer will travel to Texas for several days of meetings. The IndyCar Series begins its season with an Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park outside of Birmingham, AL Feb. 24-25. The first race of the season will be in Meira’s home country of Brazil; the street race in Sao Paolo is set for Sunday, March 14.