James Davison has been officially added as the 33rd driver on the entry list for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25.
"Indy is what led me to the United States from Australia 10 years ago, and winning the 500 has always been my childhood dream," said Davison. "Out of pure perseverance I've been able to make it here and find myself in a very good situation with KV Racing Technology and a good sponsor with Always Evolving Racing."
The 27-year-old has been signed up by KV Racing Technology to race in the #33 car. The number - which matches the maximum size of the Indy 500 grid - is no accident, Davison explained. "The fact that IndyCar was kind enough to support this, I felt it was an appropriate salute and respect to the [Series] and the event to be that number."
It will be his first attempt at the Indy 500, although he previously raced in the Freedom 100 support race in 2008 and 2009 when he was competing full time in the Indy Lights Series with Sam Schmidt Motorsports and Vision Racing.
The son of former racer and long-time Sandown Raceway event promoter Jon Davison and grandson of four-time Australian GP winner Lex Davison, James has previously competed in the Champ Car Atlantic and Star Mazda championships. He finally got to make his Verizon IndyCar Series début in 2013 with two races for Dale Coyne Racing at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course and Sonoma Raceway. He's also been competing in recent months in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Series with TRG-Aston Martin Racing.
"James has shown his capabilities at each level where he has competed and he will be an excellent complement to the three drivers we already had in place for the 500," said KV team general manager Steve Moore. "James is very talented and, with the help of his experienced teammates [Sebastien Bourdais and Sabastian Saavedra], we're confident he will quickly be up to speed for this great race."
However, a limited budget means that Davison will not get to head out on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway until May 15, just a couple of days before qualifying. That means he will miss out on half of the six days of practice available to teams that gets underway on Sunday.
“There's no need to take any significant risks, but just get up to speed and focus on getting in the race and on race set-up," explained Davison. "Race day is pay day and getting a finish is what it's all about."
Davison will still have to complete the mandatory rookie orientation programme before he will be allowed to participate in scheduled practice and qualifying sessions during the Month of May. Currently four of the other rookies planning on competing in this year's Indy 500 - Jack Hawksworth, Mikhail Aleshin, Carlos Huertas and Martin Plowman - have completed ROP, with Sage Karam due to do so in a special session on Sunday.