Alex Lloyd is to return to the IZOD IndyCar Series, after signing a deal with Dale Coyne Racing to run in all this season's oval races in the team's #19 Boy Scouts of America car.
The #19 has been driven by Sebastien Bourdais in the season's four street and road course events so far, and the Frenchman will continue to take the seat for the remaining five non-oval events in 2011. But Bourdais - four-time ChampCar champion and former F1 driver for Toro Rosso - is no fan of ovals and has prior racing commitments in Europe, and so counted himself of any oval events early on - even the Indianapolis 500.
That leaves Alex Lloyd with the opportunity to return to active duty with Dale Coyne Racing in IndyCar, beginning with this month's centennial Indy 500, a race that saw him finish in fourth place last year for the team, the highest finish for Coyne in 28 years as a team owner.
Lloyd will be partnered with James Jakes, who was a late recruit from GP2 to run all the 2011 IndyCar races for Dale Coyne and who will be making his first start on an oval at Indianapolis this month.
"I'm pumped to be back with the Dale Coyne Racing team, and running not only at Indy but at the remaining oval track events in 2011," said Lloyd, who will be making his fourth series appearance at Indianapolis. "It's great to be back at Indy.
"I would like nothing more than to give Dale Coyne Racing and the Boy Scouts of America another great finish here ... I think [we have] a legitimate chance to win. I'm very excited to have this chance.”
26-year-old Lloyd was 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year with four top ten finishes during the season, and having previously been 2007 Firestone Indy Lights champion with eight wins in 16 races that season.
Manchester-born Lloyd has also run in Formula Renault 2.0 UK and Euro Formula 3000, and his former teams in IndyCar include Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, Sam Schmidt Motorsports and Rahal Letterman Racing as well as Dale Coyne Racing.
"Happy to be representing @boyscouts again. Had a blast last year. Excited to get to work," he posted on Twitter. "Thanks for all the messages. You guys are awesome. Now let's go to Indy and kick ass."