Champ Car race winner Alex Tagliani will make a surprise IRL IndyCar Series debut in Detroit this weekend after being drafted in to replace Enrique Bernoldi at Conquest Racing.
Bernoldi has had to pull out due to pain from a thumb injury sustained at Sears Point a week ago.
His short-notice replacement Tagliani will have just 30 minutes of practice in the IndyCar Dallara-Honda before Saturday afternoon's qualifying session.
"I can't explain just how happy I am to be helping Conquest Racing this weekend and to get my first start in the IndyCar Series," he said.
"This will be a great opportunity for me to show what I can do. I'm aware that it will not be easy for me coming in at the last minute and learning a new car in a new racing series, but I'm definitely motivated to do my best and help Conquest this weekend."
Team boss Eric Bachelart is confident Tagliani can quickly get to grips with the car.
"Obviously it will be a big challenge for him as he will not get that much time in the car before the race," said Bachelart. "But Alex has a lot of experience, especially on street courses, and he's raced here in the past as well. I think he will be able to adapt quickly to his new racing environment and it will be interesting to see how he does this weekend."
Bernoldi damaged his thumb when he spun after a suspension failure last week. He was off the pace in Friday practice at Detroit as he struggled with pain from the injury on the bumpy track.
"I couldn't give my all today because of my left hand," the Brazilian explained. "I was turning into the pits with just one hand on the steering wheel and was unable to do my best.
"The track is bumpy and it was really hard on my hand. I hate having to miss a race, but I prefer leaving the car to Alex Tagliani this weekend while I rest up my hand in order for it to get better."
Tagliani had ended up without a drive when the Champ Car and IndyCar series merged prior to the start of the 2008 season, and apart from a one-off outing for Walker Racing in the Champ Car finale event at Long Beach, he has spent the season racing in NASCAR's Canadian equivalent.