Timothy Paul is pointing to competing for A.J. Foyt Racing in 2014 in Firestone Indy Lights and beyond.
Beforehand, the native of Mahopac, N.Y., will drive a CellMark Paper-sponsored car for GTP Motorsports in the 2013 Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda and F2000 seasons. The USF2000 schedule features race weekends in conjunction with the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights.
"2013 is going to be a turning point for me," said Paul, who contested in midget and sprint cars before driving in F2000 this year. "We really need to focus this year and put our program together in a whole new way to compete where I think we should, near the front of the field. This is something that you can only dream about growing up, and it's been a long road.
"Our involvement with Foyt Racing is going to enhance every single component of our team, from our weekend strategies and competitiveness to our resources and confidence. I could not be more proud about this season and what we have accomplished in less than three years of road racing competition."
Paul, who said A.J. Foyt is one of his heroes, met the four-time Indianapolis 500 winner for the first time at an IZOD IndyCar Series race at Nazareth Raceway. Paul started karting at age 9.
"It was always easy for me to look up to him in awe because we had done the same types of things in the motorsport world," Paul said. "I began on dirt and never ran a road course in my life until three years ago. I was a dirt oval, sprint car and midget guy through and through. A.J. was one of the guys that lived in that world in a larger-than-life context.
"I feel like my ride has just begun, and I honestly feel it couldn't have started in a more historic, revered and flat out awesome way than to be hooked up with Foyt Racing."
Team director Larry Foyt is looking forward to working with Paul in 2014 as well as the expansion that will serve his long-term goals of A.J. Foyt Racing.
"Tim has done a lot of different open-wheel racing in his career, coming through the midgets and sprints which we appreciate more than most IndyCar teams I think," Foyt said. "I watched him run some Formula 2000 races last year and I think he has a lot of potential. He'll be competing in the USF2000 series next year to be ready for Indy Lights in 2014.
"He's worked very hard to get this opportunity and it will be a strong team effort. It works well for us as well because I've wanted to start up our Indy Lights program again. Not only is it a great feeder program for young drivers but also for young mechanics who aspire to work in the IndyCar Series. Being in Texas, we're a bit removed from the racing hub but we enjoy bringing on young guys and training them our way."
Paul finished sixth in the F2000 standings (his third year in the Championship), and will head to Florida in January for the SCCA Nationals at Sebring International Raceway to continue development of the USF2000 car.