“Last year we came away most weekends wishing we could start the weekend over because we had learned so much about the car and what I want in a car," said Manning. “With the compressed schedule, we were doing most of our development work on race weekends.
“We now have a baseline to work from for all of the tracks which will help tremendously. Last year was my first year working with A.J. and driving the Dallara chassis with Honda power. There was a lot that had to be learned: A.J. learning what I want, me learning how the Dallara reacts to changes and then the overall communication within the crew. We did learn but the process affected our consistency. I look for all of that to change for the better in 2008."
Manning headed back to his hometown of Knaresborough, England last week to spend the Christmas holiday with his family. When he returns in late December he will get back up to speed with the Foyt team. Last month, Manning hired a personal trainer to work with him to improve his strength in preparation for the new season.
“He’s killing me but I asked him to," joked Manning, who explained the long winter lay-off does affect drivers’ strength levels.
Foyt’s team has all of their ABC Supply Dallara/Honda cars stripped down awaiting the 2008 modification pieces from Dallara. The cars will be painted and assembled to be ready for pre-season testing. The team is also bringing in some new hires, revving up their pitstop program and expanding their shock development program as they gear up for 2008. AJ Foyt Racing PR