Tag Archive for Tristan Vautier

Tristan Vautier Drives the #18 to a Surprising 5th Place Start

It had been nearly two years since Tristan Vautier last put a wheel on the Texas Motor Speedway oval, but it didn’t look like it when he took to the track on Friday and qualified fifth for Saturday’s RAINGUARD Water Sealers 600.

The Frenchman, who is replacing the injured Sebastien Bourdais at this weekend’s event, was 16th in line to qualify and he immediately jumped up to third place provisionally with his 221.801mph two-lap average around the 1.5-mile oval.

The driver of the #18 Dale Coyne Racing entry owed part of his qualifying success to his teammate Ed Jones who was second in line to qualify and who provided the team with important feedback following his run.

The team had elected to take a more conservative approach heading into qualifying with a higher level of downforce on their cars. With Jones only registering a two-lap average of 217.315mph the team proceeded to make changes to Vautier’s car, which allowed him to eventually place fifth on the starting grid. Jones will be starting from 19th.

SOURCE: Dale Coyne Racing ♦ PHOTO: Brian Groce

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Tristan Vautier to Drive #18 DCR Entry at Texas Motor Speedway #Rainguard600

Tristan Vautier has been selected to drive the #18 Dale Coyne Racing entry at this weekend’s RAINGUARD Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) alongside Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Ed Jones who will be making his first appearance on the high-speed oval.

Vautier, the 2012 Indy Lights Champion, last raced for the team during the 2015 season making 11 starts, which included both his last oval start at Pocono Raceway as well as his last visit to Texas Motor Speedway.

“We chose Tristan to fill the 18 seat at Texas because of his previous experience at Texas Motor Speedway,” commented Team Owner Dale Coyne. “We think he can help the team and Ed (Jones) who has never raced or even tested there. Tristan has remained close with the team and he’s always done a good job for us. I expect much of the same going into this race weekend.”

This year’s visit to TMS will be Vautier’s third appearance at the 1.455-mile superspeedway.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back in an Indy car and race for Dale again,” expressed Vautier. “But before talking about me stepping in, let’s all keep sending our thoughts to Seb for a quick recovery. I was happy to see him at the track at Indy on race day. I have big shoes to fill!

“That being said, I really can’t wait to be in the car on Friday and see how it feels that first lap around. It’s not the easiest place to step back in and practice is going to be very limited, but the team has been competitive everywhere, and I trust we’ll be good. It’s going to be cool working with the whole team again, and also with Craig Hampson who I met in Le Mans when I was 16 and just getting started in racing. I remember I was asking him about opportunities in the USA and he was telling me to come over!

“I’m super grateful to Dale for renewing his trust in me like he did in 2015, and I also want to send a big thanks to SunEnergy1 Racing and my team owner Kenny Habul who is making 2017 such a special year for me as I return to racing full time in the USA for his team. He is much more than a team owner to me, he wants to see me succeed and supports me in everything I do beyond my commitments with him in sports cars. He is a true blessing. Now it’s time for me to focus and deliver this weekend.”

Vautier and Jones will only get 75 minutes of practice time starting at 10:00am local time Friday, June 9 before heading into qualifying on Friday afternoon. Fans can watch live qualifying coverage on NBCSN starting at 3:30pm ET.

SOURCE: Dale Coyne Racing ♦ PHOTO: Brian Groce

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Tristan Vautier on Naptown Buzz #91

Tristan Vautier on Naptown Buzz #91 DOWNLOAD THE PODCAST

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