An unusual arrangement is surrounding the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda.
INDIANAPOLIS - As Motorsport.com reported earlier in the week, James Davison is set to pilot the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda in the 500, but due to commitments in the Pirelli World Challenge this weekend, he will be unable to qualify the car.
The last time a driver intentionally qualified for an Indy 500 car for someone else came way back in 1981 when Wally Dallenbach qualified in place of Mario Andretti, who was taking part in Formula One's Monaco Grand Prix.
It's now confirmed that Tristian Vautier is going to be that substitute driver for Davison while he races a Nissan GT-R in Canada. The 25-year-old French racer successfully completed the refresher program around IMS, posting a fast lap of 224.036mph.
“It is an interesting tradeoff,” said Vautier “I have to thank James and Dale (Coyne) for trusting me for this job. It’s good to see the cars have been competitive so far. Obviously, we’re not going to get out there trying to break records but work toward the qualifying. It’s an interesting task to be in an Indy car and qualifying it for another driver, but I’m approaching it like I would any other race."
“So far, with the new aero kits, the cars have not been so different to drive from last year, but as we trim out I think that’s where you’ll see a bigger difference," he added. The French racer will be taking part in the Silverstone round of the Blancpain Endurance Series on the day of the 500.
In 2014, Davison made his Indy 500 debut, finishing 16th after starting 28th with KV Racing.