Louis Foster showed his resolute character with a strong fightback from adversity on his first visit to Indy NXT’s Music City Grand Prix in Nashville.
The driver of the #26 Copart/USF Pro Championship car made use of the opening practice as a rare chance to drive in the rain and then a drying circuit gave Foster plenty to contend with. But the real hammer blow for the weekend came when qualifying was rained out on Saturday.
Foster started the previous three street course races from pole position but with the session rained off the order was set on championship position leaving Foster in fifth to start. With track position proving key, it would be a long race for the British driver who recently turned 20. He quickly took fourth at the start and then delivered a daring move for third at the treacherous Turn 9. However, later in the race, Foster was hit from behind and cost a position, and with no penalty awarded to his competitor, Foster had to fight back. Strong defensive driving from his opponent forced Foster off track through the Turn 1 run off and he dropped to the back of the top 10. He fought back with some excellent overtaking moves including two on the last lap to take sixth by the end, on a day when he should have scored a podium but could easily have been put out of the race.
“Today was a long day, we can’t hide from that, but the Andretti Autosport team did a great job and gave me the car to battle and overtake today,” said Foster, who is backed by Copart, a global leader in online auto auctions.
“The big blow for the weekend was qualifying, where we have a 100% record in qualifying on pole on street circuits and yet we had to start fifth due to the rain ending the qualifying session.
“I think it’s clear we were raced harshly today, so all that’s left to say is thank you to the team for the car they gave me and I’ll learn from this experience to ensure we have a different outcome next time.
“We’ve got five races left now, so we just need to approach every weekend with the goal of maximising every session and seeing what we come away with.
“It’s frustrating to have so many things go against us, but we’ll keep working as a team to improve the things we can control.”
Foster has an almost immediate chance to make amends and at a track where he finished second earlier in the season, at the Indianapolis road course race. Another race there this weekend comes in support of the shared NASCAR and IndyCar weekend at the Brickyard.
“Obviously we came very close to winning at the Indy GP earlier this year, and it’s probably the track I’ve done the most laps at in America with the post-season and pre-season tests that have taken place there,” added Foster.
“I like the idea of going straight into another weekend to try and improve and put a tough event in Nashville to bed.”