Verizon IndyCar Series veteran Ryan Briscoe will step in to pilot James Hinchcliffe’s No. 5 Honda for this weekend’s Indianapolis 500. The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team confirmed Thursday morning the 2012 Indy 500 polesitter as the Canadian’s stand-in.
“We explored quite a few options and felt confident in Briscoe,” car owner Sam Schmidt said. “We were glad he was available and willing to drive for us with such short notice. Obviously, this was not a situation we were expecting to be in for the biggest race of the year but we’re making the best of it. Our thoughts and prayers are with James and his family right now.”
Briscoe, 33, has eight career wins in IndyCar competition. The Australian left the IndyCar Series last year to become a full-time driver with Corvette Racing in the GTLM class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
“First and foremost, I feel absolutely terrible for Hinch. I wish him the best and a speedy recovery,” Briscoe said. “Under the circumstances, I’m thrilled to have been given the opportunity to be here and fill in for him. I really hope to do a great job for Arrow Electronics, Lucas Oil and the SPM team, and I’m looking forward to being back here in the Indy 500 again.”
Briscoe, who will start 32nd in Sunday’s race, got acclimated with the 2015-spec Honda aero kit in speedway trim in a special test run authorized by IndyCar (pictured, TOP).
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