Dale Coyne Racing officially announced Sunday afternoon that James Davison will be the fill-in driver for injured Sebastien Bourdais, driving the No. 18 GEICO Honda for the 101st Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Australian driver competed in two previous Indy 500s, the first in 2014 driving for KV Racing Technology where he finished 16th, and again in 2015 with Dale Coyne Racing where he finished 27th. The latter start also is Davison’s last to date in Verizon IndyCar competition.
Davison is taking over driving duties for Bourdais who received multiple pelvic fractures and a fracture to his right hip in a vicious crash during his qualifying attempt for this year’s race. Saturday night, Bourdais underwent successful surgery at IU Health Methodist Hospital.
“My thoughts are with Sebastien and (wife) Claire Bourdais,” said Davison. “This is never the circumstance that a driver wants to secure an opportunity to drive in the Indianapolis 500. With that said, I’m extremely excited and ready to take on this challenge. The prime goal will be to secure a strong result for the team, Sebastien and all our sponsors. I can’t wait to get started.”
The 30-year old driver didn’t make a qualifying attempt on Sunday, so Davison will start at the rear of the 33-car field next weekend.
“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,” team owner Dale Coyne said. “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.”
Davison will make his first laps behind the wheel of the No. 18 GEICO Honda during Monday’s practice session which will run from 12:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. ET.