SPEEDWAY, Ind. — James Davison has been tabbed to replace the injured Sebastien Bourdais at Dale Coyne Racing for next weekend’s 101st running of the Indianapolis 500.
RACER.com first reported the news.
The 30-year-old native of Melbourne, Australia has a prior history with the Coyne team, having made three of his four-career Verizon IndyCar Series starts with DCR from 2013 to 2015.
Davison has two prior starts in the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing’, most recently for DCR in 2015.
His career-best finish at Indianapolis came in the 2014 edition of the 500, when he came home on the lead lap in 16th for KV Racing Technology.
“First off, this is never the opportunity at Indy that a driver wants to secure,” Davison said. “My thoughts are with Sebastien and Claire.”
“(As a team), we’re definitely in a compromise situation, with what equipment and time that we have. But with that said, I’m extremely excited and ready to take on this challenge. I will be doing the best I can for the team to secure a strong result and get to the end. Certainly, a good result would be good to pay tribute to Sebastien, and for all of our sponsors involved.”
“It’s never easy when you have to replace an injured driver, but the important thing is that Sebastien is going to fully recover from his injuries and we’ll be waiting for him when he’s ready to come back,” added team owner Dale Coyne. “We’ve worked with James in the past and he’s done a good job for us; he’s familiar with the team and knows how we work … so it was an easy decision when came the time to find someone to fill the (No.) 18 seat.”
With the thrash on to repair the No. 18 GEICO Honda for Davison to get some on-track time, the Coyne team will look ahead to Monday’s scheduled three-and-a-half hour practice session.
Davison will also have a final opportunity for on-track time in Friday’s ‘Happy Hour’ final practice, which takes place during Carb Day festivities on May 26.
In addition to his Indy 500 starts, Davison’s prior open wheel experience includes a runner-up finish in the Indy Lights championship in 2009, with two career wins in that series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Most recently, the Australian has been competing in the Pirelli World Challenge, having driven in the past for Nismo Motorsports and racing this year for TRG in an Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
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Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
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