Dale Coyne Racing has announced today that Australian driver James Davison will return to the team for this year’s Indianapolis 500, with a trio of partners in Jonathan Byrd, Hollinger MotorSport and Belardi Auto Racing uniting to put the #33 car on the grid.
Davison previously raced for Dale Coyne in the 2017 Indianapolis 500 after being drafted in as a substitute for the injured Sebastien Bourdais. Despite the late call-up, with Bourdais having been injured in qualifying just over a week prior to the race, Davison impressed by running well and leading laps before sadly retiring from the race after an accident whilst running in the top ten.
In today’s announcement, Davison said that he was “enraptured” to be rejoining the “special” team that is Dale Coyne Racing:
“I’m enraptured to be rejoining Dale Coyne Racing with Byrd Hollinger Belardi,” said the Australian today, “Dale’s team is special in many ways and I have fond memories driving the #18 and #19 cars at the 500 in the past. We endeavour to recreate our prior success together and can’t wait to get after it.”
Should Davison successfully qualify for the race, it would be his fifth start in the event. He made his Indy 500 debut in the 2014 race, qualifying twenty-eighth and finishing in a strong sixteenth place; which remains his best finish in the event to date. Since then, he has raced three further times but failed to reach the chequered flag again.
This year, both Davison and his team-owner, Dale Coyne, will be hoping that his fortune is reversed and that he can finish the race in a strong position. Today, Coyne stated that he was “very exciting” to be welcoming James back to the team and to be partnering with Byrd, Hollinger and Belardi.
“We’re very excited to have James [Davison] come back to the team for the Indianapolis 500,” said Coyne. “He stepped in last minute for us with hardly any practice as a substitute driver to Sebastien [Bourdais] a couple of years ago and did a great job under the circumstances and showed he has the speed to run with the best of them.
“We’re also happy to be partnering once again with the Byrd family who has a long history with the Indy 500, as well as Hollinger MotorSport, and we look forward to working with Brian Belardi and his team.”
Testing for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 is set to kick-off at the end of April, with official practice sessions getting underway in mid-May. The race itself will take place on Sunday, May 26. It will be the sixth event of the upcoming 2019 NTT IndyCar Series, which will begin with the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this Sunday, March 10.