27 May 2015
IndyCar: Vautier and Gonzalez set for Detroit with Dale Coyne
Tristan Vautier and Rodolfo Gonzalez will line-up for Dale Coyne Racing at Detroit in the latest driver reshuffle for the team in 2015.
The revolving door at Dale Coyne Racing continues this weekend, with another new look to the driver line-up for the Dual in Detroit doubleheader at Belle Isle.
Tristan Vautier and Rodolfo Gonzalez will be in the team's two cars for the next two rounds this weekend, both drivers making their second appearances for the team in 2015 but will lining up together for the first time.
Vautier was a last-minute replacement for the team's regular driver Carlos Huertas at last weekend's Indianapolis 500, after the Colombian was ruled out of competition at the 11th hour with an inner ear condition. Huertas has not yet been confirmed as having been re-evaluated and cleared for competition by the Verizon IndyCar Series' medical director, Dr Michael Olinger.
GP2 veteran Gonzalez had also substituted for Huertas when he made his IndyCar début in an earlier round of the 2015 season, when Huertas was forced to miss the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park over unspecified "business reasons".
Gonzalez will be back this weekend driving in the #18 car usually taken by Huertas. Vautier will be in the #19 car that he qualified at Indianapolis in place of James Davison, who had a conflicting motorsports commitment on the same weekend as qualifying for the Indy 500 was held.
Davison and the team's other Indy 500 driver Pippa Mann only had one-race deals with the team. Francesco Dracone drove the #19 car for the first five races of the season, but the Italian's contract with the team expired with the Indianapolis road course race earlier in May.
Other drivers who have turned out for the team this season are Conor Daly and Rocky Moran Jr.. Moran appeared in only two practice sessions at Long Beach before being forced out with a hand injury after crashing into a barrier. Daly was a short-notice stand-in for Moran at the event, and will be driving this weekend at Detroit for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe who had now been released from hospital following surgery for injuries sustained in a practice crash last week at Indianapolis.
Also out of hospital is the Dale Coyne Racing crew member who was injured in a pit lane accident during the Indy 500 involving all three Dale Coyne cars, when Pippa Mann ran into James Davison's car as it was leaving its pit stall, spinning it into Vautier's car which was still undergoing service
Vautier's outside rear tyre changer Daniel Jang had been taken to hospital and underwent surgery at IU Health Methodist Hospital on Sunday evening, but a tweet from the team on Wednesday evening stated that Jang "was just released from hospital and is headed home to Chicago! Stay strong Daniel!"
The team was handed a $10,000 ($5,000 suspended) penalty for the pit lane accident and Davison received a six-race probation for violating Rules 188.8.131.52 (unsafe release) and 184.108.40.206 (contact with personnel) of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook
Bryan Herta Autosport's Gabby Chaves was also put on a six-race probation and fined $10,000 ($5,000 suspended) for a separate pit lane accident earlier in the race. In that incident, the crew member was taken away and evaluated at the in-field care centre but did not require any further treatment and was soon released.
Race winner Juan Pablo Montoya was also among the cars cited in the post-event round-up of penalised infractions, with the #2 Penske car fined $500 for violating Rule 220.127.116.11 relating to contact with pit equipment, specifically running over the team's air hose when Montoya slid through his stall during a pit stop early in the race.
In addition, Stefano Coletti's #4 KV Racing Technology entry was fined $500 for violating Rule 18.104.22.168 governing contact with a competitor's pit equipment after he ran over Sebastian Saavedra's air hose; and an Andretti Autosport crew member working on the #28 car of 2014 Indy 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay was also fined $500 for violating Rule 22.214.171.124(c) for not not wearing protective gloves during a pit stop.
There were also a number of manufacturer points awards and deductions relating to engine usage announced on Wednesday.
Honda received a bonus of 40 engine manufacturer points for attaining the required 2,500-mile life cycle minimum on four of its engines (the #14 AJ Foyt Racing, #27 Andretti Autosport, #28 Andretti Autosport and #41 AJ Foyt Racing entries). Honda had also received a bonus of 20 engine manufacturer points following the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9 for attaining the life cycle minimum on the engines installed in the #5 and #7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entries.
However, Honda received a deduction of 80 points for engines that did not reach that mandated life cycle at the Indianapolis 500. According to Rule 10.6.4.3, 20 points will be deducted for replacement engines in #7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, #19 Dale Coyne Racing, #41 AJ Foyt Enterprises and #43 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entries. Honda had also received a deduction of 40 points following the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis for both Dale Coyne Racing cars - the #18 and #19 - failing to make the required total distance before needing to be replaced with a new power plant.
Following the adjustments, Chevrolet now has 588 manufacturer points and Honda has 553.
With all the specified penalties, there is a right of appeal pursuant to the procedures and timelines detailed in the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook.
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