Mike Conway will make another return to the IndyCar Series after securing a last-minute deal to drive for Dale Coyne Racing in this weekend’s Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, the championship’s first ever double-header event.
The Englishman, who made a competitive one-off outing in a third entry run by the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team, will drive Dale Coyne Racing’s #18 Honda-powered entry that has been piloted to-date by Ana Beatriz, whose five-race deal with the team has come to an end.
“I miss being in the car full time, and teaming with Justin [Wilson] again will be quite exciting for me.”
Conway quit full-time competition in the IndyCar Series at the end of last season after he suffered a spate of violent accidents on oval racing circuits over the previous couple of years.
Team owner Dale Coye graciously paid tribute to Beatriz’s performance this year, while also welcoming Conway to the operation.
“First, I want to say what a great job [Beatriz] has done in the number 18 car,” he said.
“I think it was beneficial to run concurrent races with Bia where she could truly show her competitiveness as she did in Brazil and Indy.
“We are also excited to have a street course racer like Mike Conway join our efforts. Mike has shown over the years how competitive he can be on all types of circuits and we look forward to having our all-English team go at it at Belle Isle.”
Conway could be in the frame for more road and street course outings with the team, as and where they don’t clash with his pre-existing commitments in the World Endurance Championship.
The team could also consider other drivers for the remaining races in 2013, with the most likely candidate being Justin Wilson’s younger brother, Stefan, who tested for the team in the pre-season and was in the frame for a full-time drive, although he was ultimately unable to raise enough funds to land it.
Another candidate would be Spaniard Oriol Servia, who is without a drive after the Panther / Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team confirmed it would close its doors following the Indianapolis 500.