IndyCar: Mann, Vautier In For Coyne At Fontana
Tristan Vautier in Turn 1 at Detroit. Photo: Bret Kelley / INDYCAR

IndyCar: Mann, Vautier In For Coyne At Fontana

Dale Coyne Racing has announced that Pippa Mann and Tristan Vautier will drive the team's two cars in this weekend's MAVTV 500. The team's driver lineup has changed several times during the season.

cathy-shumaker
Cathy Shumaker

The No. 18 and 19 cars of Dale Coyne Racing will be piloted by Pippa Mann and Tristan Vautier in this weekend's MAVTV 500, as was announced by the team on Monday via Twitter. 

The team has been changing drivers on a race-by-race basis with varying success.

At the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in late-March, Carlos Huertas was behind the wheel of the No. 19 Honda, joined by Francesco Dracone in the  No. 18. They finished 24th and 23rd, respectively.

These two were in also in the cars for the second race of the year, the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park. Dracone was involved in an incident on pit lane where a crew member was hit and injured.

Dracone also raced the No. 19 at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, finishing two laps behind winner Scott Dixon. Carlos Huertas was initially replaced by Rocky Moran Jr. for the weekend, but Moran suffered a broken thumb in a crash during practice. Conor Daly was suddenly subbed in and finished 17th after minimal practice in what was his first race since the Indianapolis 500 of 2013. 

Rodolfo Gonzalez piloted the No. 18 at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, with Francesco Dracone in the No. 19.

The month of May began with Huertas and Dracone racing in the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, both finishing the race. 

At the Indianapolis 500, the team ran three cars: Carlos Huertas in the No. 18, Tristan Vautier in the No. 19 in place of James Davison who had a previous racing commitment for qualifying weekend and Pippa Mann in the No. 63.  Huertas was ruled out of the race the night before the event with an inner ear condition, so Vautier stepped in to replace him. An incident on pit lane involving all three team cars knocked Vautier and Davison out of the race and sent two crew members to the hospital with injuries.

The Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit saw Gonzalez and Vautier each making their second and third starts of the season. Vautier finished fourth in the second race of the doubleheader after starting last, a bright spot in an otherwise dreary race weekend.

At the Firestone 600, Pippa Mann returned to pilot the No. 18 with Vautier in the No. 19. Vautier retired with mechanical issues after 156 laps, while Mann finished 242 of the 248 total laps. 

At the most recent round, the Honda Indy Toronto, Vautier and Gonzalez raced for the team with Gonzalez leading five laps while following a different strategy from other teams.

This weekend's 500-mile race at Auto Club Speedway has oval specialist Mann back in the car, joined again by Vautier. The team is hoping for a solid showing from both drivers as the team's revolving door of drivers continues. 

Follow @VAVELIndyCar on Twitter and stay tuned to the Racing section for more. 


Cathy Shumaker is a writer for the VAVEL USA Racing section. Follow her on Twitter at @cathyshu. 

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