It’s taken until Thursday to make it official but is now confirmed: Tristan Vautier will practice and qualify the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda through Sunday, before James Davison returns to the car to race it in next weekend’s Indianapolis 500.
Davison is participating in the Pirelli World Challenge series race outside Toronto at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this weekend in the No. 33 AE Nissan GT Academy Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.
Given the commitment, Davison and Coyne needed a replacement driver for the weekend, and the 2013 Verizon IndyCar Series rookie of the year, Vautier, was available.
After getting back up to speed on Tuesday, on Wednesday, Davison ended fourth overall north of 228 mph in a solid day’s work. He did have an interesting moment in a drafting sequence with Ryan Hunter-Reay, which carried over to Davison’s Instagram page.
Vautier joins a crowded list of drivers who have competed in an official session for Dale Coyne Racing this year.
Carlos Huertas, Conor Daly and Rodolfo Gonzalez have raced the No. 18 Honda, Rocky Moran Jr. practiced it at Long Beach, Francesco Dracone, Davison and now Vautier have been in the No. 19 car and Pippa Mann races this month in the No. 63 Susan G. Komen Honda. Mann is expected back out Friday after her accident the end of the day on Wednesday.
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.