INDIANAPOLIS – Dale Coyne Racing announced today that James Davison will replace injured Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 18 GEICO Honda for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Davison, a 30-year-old Australian, has competed in two previous Indianapolis 500s, in 2014 with KV Racing Technology (finishing 16th) and in 2015 with Dale Coyne Racing (finishing 27th). The race two years ago was his last Verizon IndyCar Series start.
Davison is filling in for Bourdais, who sustained multiple pelvic fractures and a fracture to his right hip in a crash Saturday while attempting to qualify for this year’s race. Bourdais underwent successful surgery Saturday night at IU Health Methodist Hospital.
“My thoughts are with Sebastien and (wife) Claire Bourdais,” said Davison, whose Verizon IndyCar Series debut came with Dale Coyne Racing in 2013 races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Sonoma Raceway. “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.”
Davison will not make an attempt today in final qualifications for the May 28 race. Based on Rules 18.104.22.168.b and 22.214.171.124.c of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series Rule Book, Davison's race starting position will be at the rear of the 33-car field, along with any other cars that do not complete a qualifying attempt today in Group 1, based on entrant points.
“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 gain his first practice time in the No. 18 GEICO Honda during Monday’s session that runs from 12:30-4 p.m. ET.
The 101st Indianapolis 500 airs live at 11 a.m. ET May 28 on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.