Bourdais “Done for the year” after Indy crash, future of No. 18 DCR entry uncertain

David Yowe/INDYCAR

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Sebastien Bourdais is expected to miss the rest of the year after sustaining multiple fractures to his pelvis and a fractured hip in Saturday’s opening day of qualifications for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Dale Coyne Racing owned Dale Coyne confirmed the news Sunday afternoon.

“He’s done for the year,” Coyne told INDYCAR.

“It’s going to be a 12-week rehab,” Coyne continued. “I mean, even just having a fractured hip is 8-10 weeks, and he’s got multiple. He’s got a plate, screws in his hip bone and plate on his pelvis. It’s more extensive than Justin (Wilson)’s was in 2014. So, it’s it least 12 weeks, which may get him ready for Sonoma, but why run one race?

“Let him rehab for the other four months and get ready to go for next year. Have him out and (in) January start testing with him and go at it.”

Planning for the Future

As reported earlier in the afternoon, James Davison will pilot Bourdais’ No. 18 Honda entry in Sunday’s Indy 500. The DCR team will revert to a backup car used previously on road courses. Davison, 30, has competed with the team before, having contested three events with them in 2013 and ’15, respectively.

According to Coyne, Davison’s history with the team and ability to adapt quickly are what led to his choice for the seat.

“We’ve run him before, on road courses and here (at Indianapolis),” Coyne said. “He does a good, clean job. He’s good at getting in with only a handful of laps and he’s only going to have a handful of laps before this one. He’s getting into a pretty good car. We’ve had good cars all month here, so we think he can do a good job.”

For Davison, a sudden Indy 500 slot provides a much-needed opportunity to compete, albeit under unfavorable circumstances.

“It’s certainly mixed emotions,” Davison told INDYCAR. “No racing driver ever wants to secure an opportunity under these circumstances.

“First off, my thoughts are with Sebastien and Claire. I got to know Sebastien a little better when I was living in St. Petersburg a couple of years ago, and we were teammates together at KV Racing in 2014 when I was a rookie. He was very good to me there.

“The circumstance we find ourselves in right now is compromised with the time and the equipment we have available, but we’ll just do the best job we possibly can as a team for Sebastien and our sponsors Geico, Hollinger Motorsports and Cruise Associates.”

Davison, 30, has been a journeyman driver for much of the past several years, competing in series ranging from Pirelli World Challenge to the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

Suddenly, the Australian has been thrusted into an IndyCar opportunity in ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” He’ll get limited opportunities to adjust to the car, making communication with teammate Ed Jones critical for the next week.

“No doubt it will be,” Davison said of the importance of communication. “Ed (Jones) and I coincidentally live in the same building together in Miami so we’ve become friends. I’m sure he’ll be a good help to me whenever I may have some questions.”

As for the future, the driver of the No. 18 Honda beyond Indy is currently unknown. But Davison believes future opportunity could arise with success at Indianapolis.

“It’s a possibility,” Davison said. “We’ll just see how this goes, and talk about Detroit afterwards. Like anything in motorsport, a good run motivates sponsors and team owners.

“We’ll just see what happens.”

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