Louis Foster pulled off a spectacular debut win on an oval at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis last Friday in the Indy Pro 2000 series.
It takes some drivers from Europe years to learn how to compete on an oval, and Exclusive Autosport driver Foster had gone into the weekend in damage limitation mode in the championship as to not lose too many points to his more experienced rivals. Now, after eight out of 18 races, he leads the championship in his first year racing in America. Foster topped the opening practice session, but even then he wasn’t clear that he would be in victory contention.
“Driving around an oval fast is one thing, being able to race on it is another,” said Foster, who is backed by Copart, a global leader in online auto auctions, and Florida-based luxury Italian garden umbrella brand Poggesi. “I made sure I practiced the lines and the overtaking techniques for the race because I knew that would be the most important thing.”
In qualifying, Foster was third fastest and then a rain delay pushed the race into the darkness with the drivers competing under the floodlights. The Juncos Hollinger team held the top two positions, but Foster bided his time until the leaders were overtaking lapped traffic, and pounced on the two cars ahead with overtakes that took multiple laps to complete on both occasions. Having finally established the lead on lap 54, a caution came out to bunch the field back up again. However, Foster was up to the challenge and finished the 90-lap race 1.4089s clear of his more experienced oval rivals.
“Winning on my oval debut is nuts!,” added Foster. “It’s still sinking in! I can’t thank the team enough, without Exclusive Autosport I never would have been able to do it. “The car was great, the set-up was fantastic and the team really worked with me on the details; how the car would react in different circumstances, why being patient is so important, how to extract the most from the car and when to take care of the equipment and hold station. “Without Exclusive, this result wouldn’t have been possible so thanks to them.”
Foster also bagged the fastest lap of the race which means he’s set at least one fastest lap at every race track he has been to so far this season, despite all of the tracks being new to him. The series heads to Road America next, which is a more traditional road course Foster is looking forward to.