Davison tipped for IndyCar debut at Mid-Ohio

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It looks like James Davison will make his IZOD IndyCar Series debut at the next round at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

There hasn’t been an official confirmation from the Dale Coyne Racing team, but Davison tweeted Tuesday he was getting a seat fitting at DCR’s Chicago shop and later in the day Marshall Pruett reported for RACER.com that Davison’s debut was a done deal. Davison tested for the team at Mid-Ohio last month as potential preparation for this opportunity.

One of the quickest shoes in Firestone Indy Lights for a few years, Davison has two prior wins at Mid-Ohio in back-to-back years (2008 and 2009). The first was of the unconventional variety when another competitor peeled into the pits on the final lap, with the second a more normal dominant romp from pole position.

Two drivers have made their IndyCar debut in Mid-Ohio in recent years, Martin Plowman in 2011 and Francesco Dracone in 2010. It’s also been a haven for one-off rides with Giorgio Pantano (2012), Simon Pagenaud (2011), Adam Carroll (2010) and Paul Tracy (2009) all making last-minute cameos at the Lexington, Ohio circuit.

Coyne’s No. 18 Honda may have as many as five drivers in the last five weekends this season. Mike Conway (Houston) and Pippa Mann are already confirmed, and a mix of drivers who have been linked to Coyne or are currently on the sidelines are likely to fill the void the other two weekends (Sonoma and Baltimore).

SMP Racing unveils BR1 LMP1 car in Bahrain ahead of WEC entry

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SMP Racing has publicly unveiled its new BR1 LMP1 car that will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2018.

SMP Racing opted to pull out of racing full-time in the WEC for 2017 in order to focus on its preparations for an LMP1 entry the following year, with the decision being taken long in advance of Porsche’s exit announcement.

Officials from the Russian-backed SMP Racing, as well as drivers including recent IndyCar racer Mikhail Aleshin (sporting a broken arm in a sling), Vitaly Petrov and Sergey Sirotkin were all on hand to unveil the car on Friday in the Bahrain International Circuit paddock ahead of this weekend’s WEC finale.

The BR Engineering BR1 features a Dallara chassis and an AER engine, and has completed over 2,000 km in private testing, with further running set to be completed in the coming weeks.

SMP Racing plans to field two cars in the WEC’s LMP1 class next year, and is keen to get as many Russian drivers as possible in the seats from its wide pool of talent.

Even with Porsche’s departure from LMP1, the class is set to feature a bigger field thanks to the increased number of privateers moving up, with Toyota set to remain the sole manufacturer in the class.