Vautier targets open-wheel future

Former Indy Lights and Pro Mazda champion hopes 2015 performances will keep him at Dale Coyne Racing

Vautier targets open-wheel future
Tristan Vautier, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Dale Coyne
Tristan Vautier, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Simon Pagenaud and Tristan Vautier
Tristan Vautier, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
#20 Akka ASP Ferrari 458 Italia: Morgan Moulin Traffort, Tristan Vautier, Alessandro PierGuidi

Young French ace Tristan Vautier has declared that he’s aiming for a full-time IndyCar berth in 2016, despite his regular sports car duties over the past two years.

This past season, the 2012 Indy Lights champion drove for Dale Coyne Racing from the Indianapolis 500 through to season’s end, scoring a fourth at Detroit and sixth at Mid-Ohio. Most recently he tested for DCR at Road America last Monday, and he’s keen for the relationship to continue.

“We’re having discussions now, and I really hope to stay with Dale,” Vautier told Motorsport.com. “I was very happy to be invited back this week, as it was the first time I’d had a full test day with the team.

“Last year we never had that chance and the weekends would just go by so fast, we could not afford the time to experiment. The risks of going in the wrong direction were too big. At Road America, just one day of testing made a big difference. We got to try a lot of different things and found things about the car. We understood a lot more. It was really good.”

Vautier was only 20th in his first full season in IndyCar in 2013, several times showing great pace for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport, able to match teammate Simon Pagenaud, but also having several incidents. His best finish that season was a 10th place.

Last year saw Vautier racing Mazda’s prototype in the endurance rounds of the IMSA TUDOR Championship, and working on the Mazda Road To Indy program, but his call-up by Coyne this year saw him back where he wants to be.

“I don’t know if Dale is doing the Sebring test and if he is, I don’t know if he wants to run me, but I’m not going to rush him to make a decision,” said Vautier who has excelled at every step on the junior open-wheel ladder, culminating in winning Pro Mazda and Indy Lights in back-to-back seasons, 2011-’12. “But I’ve been so happy racing with Dale Coyne Racing this season, I think I’ve gained his trust, the team had good chemistry and we’ve been building momentum.

“I do like to do sports cars on the side, and I'm going to Petit Le Mans for discussions, but I love IndyCar and I think the continuity of myself and Dale staying together would be a really good thing. There’s a lot of potential that we haven’t shown yet.”

 

shares
comments
Rahal to remain a one-car team in 2016

Previous article

Rahal to remain a one-car team in 2016

Next article

2016 GP of Indianapolis to remain a Saturday race

2016 GP of Indianapolis to remain a Saturday race
Load comments
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021
IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet Prime

IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet

The ace 20-somethings in IndyCar have risen to become title contenders, but the best of the series veterans are digging deep and responding – and will continue to do so over the next couple of years, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021