Indianapolis, IN- There’s been some drivers shuffling around since the last time the Izod IndyCar Series has taken to the track.
If you go by the entry-list from the Toronto weekend three weeks ago you’d be confused with some of the drivers in the regular cars.
There will be three new drivers behind the wheel powering the IndyCar machines at the 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend. The one many know about is Spaniard Oriol Servia being back behind the wheel of the No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet for Panther Racing.
This will be the third race for Panther that Servia has driven in 2013. In Toronto Ryan Briscoe was piloting the Chevy but since he broke his wrist he’s out indefinitely.
The other two drivers most may not be too familiar with.
Alex Tagliani is out of Barracuda Autosport after a surprising dismal start to the season. Tagliani was 21st in the points with two top 10 finishes in 13 races this year. He had six straight sub 20th place finishes starting with Indy through the end of June race at Iowa. Those struggles cause Bryan Herta and his team to take action to see if it’s the car or the driver.
This weekend Italian Luca Filippi will pilot the No. 98 Barracuda Honda in place of Tagliani. Filippi has made zero Izod IndyCar Series or Firestone Indy Lights starts as this will be his first start over in the states.
He’s been climbing the European racing ladder rising from Formula Renault 2000, Italian Formula 3000 and most recently GP2. He was a former Formula 1 test driver for Honda and has won 11 races in five GP2 seasons.
The other new driver to the circuit this weekend is rookie James Davison. The Australian is a third-generation driver who’s family is mainly known in Australia. Their name to Australia is like Unser, Andretti and Foyt in the United States. He will pilot the No. 18 Sonny’s BBQ Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.
Opposite of Filippi, Davison has IndyCar experience as he’s a graduate of the Mazda Road to Indy program winning races in both the Star Mazda Series and the Firestone Indy Lights.
The rest of the field will remain the same besides these three new faces to seats this weekend.
Eric Smith is the Lead Motorsports Writer for Race Review Online. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru
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