As other teams look to add cars and grow their presence in IndyCar, Dale Coyne says he will stick to the plan that has made his team a regular contender for wins.
“Two cars for us,” he told RACER. “We want to have the best two drivers we can find. We want to win races, and we want to fight for the championship. That’s been our motto since we went away from having rent-a-ride guys in both cars.”
Coyne will have a lot to consider when it comes to staffing the Nos. 18 and 19 Hondas.
The Illinois-based team owner holds an option on the services of Sebastien Bourdais, and if he chooses to re-sign the four-time champion, the co-entrants on his car – Jimmy Vasser and James Sullivan – would also be expected to return.
If Coyne decides to part with Bourdais, the Frenchman would become the top free agent on the market. And in Vasser and Sullivan, he would have a pair of supporters who are highly adept at procuring sponsors. With questions regarding Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s second car and perhaps a third for 2019, SPM’s possible need to fill its second car, and the fluid situation with McLaren Racing’s participation, Bourdais would appear to have alternatives if Dale Coyne Racing does not take up his option.
Although the Chip Ganassi Racing team has held an interest in Bourdais for a few years, it’s believed the seat alongside Scott Dixon has already been filled for 2019.
And with DCR’s recent pool of young driving talent, including 2017 driver Ed Jones and 2018 drivers Pietro Fittipaldi, Zachary Claman De Melo, and Santino Ferrucci, Coyne will not lack options for the second car.
“Every year I do a list of potential drivers for next year, and there are a lot of names on it,” Coyne said. “And I think people are recognizing what we’re doing, and there’s a lot of interest in the 19 car.”