British F3 - 2016 British F3 champion Leist graduates to Indycar for 2018

Next Event:
Oulton Park
31 March / 2 April

Next Event:
Oulton Park
31 March / 2 April

2016 British F3 champion Leist graduates to Indycar for 2018

2016 British F3 champion Leist graduates to Indycar for 2018

Thursday 16 November 2017

2016 BRDC British F3 Champion Matheus Leist will graduate into the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018, after signing for the A.J. Foyt Racing team.

Leist will be the youngest driver in the series next year and will partner the championship's most experienced driver, the 2004 IndyCar series champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner, countryman Tony Kanaan. 

The Brazilian youngster won three races in this year's Indy Lights series and finished fourth overall in the standings in his rookie year in America. This followed on from his championship success in BRDC British F3 in 2016, where he claimed the title after securing four victories throughout the season.

Leist commented: "This is a special moment in my career and I'm so grateful for the things that are happening. Sometimes it is hard to believe that I'll be driving for the legend A.J. Foyt. Having Tony Kanaan as my teammate is incredible because he's been an idol for me since I was a child. Tony and I are from different generations but I can't wait to be with him at the track and learn as much as I can from him. It will be a pleasure."

Speaking to Autosport, Team President Larry Foyt commented: "A friend of mine had told me to watch Matheus in British F3 with Double R Racing and then he came to America with Carlin and did well in Indy Lights.

"He had a really good stretch this summer, winning at Indy, Road America and Iowa. But it wasn't until late in the season that we decided we'd be changing both drivers for 2018, so I ended up meeting Matheus and it grew from there.

"So with Tony coming on board, this was a good chance to give an opportunity to a young guy who can learn from him - someone who is quick and who I hope will be part of our future for a while."

A.J. Foyt added: "I wanted a fresh start for 2018. I think the combination of an experienced driver like Tony and a hungry young driver like Matheus will work. I watched him in the Indy Lights this year and he won at Indy. I know he's got a lot to learn but I think he's going to learn very quick and I think he'll be very good in the Indy cars."

 

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