Valiante in for DCR at Portland

Dale Coyne Racing have confirmed that long-time Champ Car hopeful Michael Valiante will drive their second car at Portland International Raceway this weekend

Valiante in for DCR at Portland

The seat became vacant after the team's lead driver Oriol Servia left to join Newman/Haas Racing, where he is standing in for the injured Bruno Junqueira until the Brazilian has recovered from injuries sustained in an Indy 500 crash.

Coyne did not field a second car at Milwaukee and were unable to make much of an impression with their other driver Ricardo Sperafico.

Valiante was put on standby and finally got the opportunity to test the team's Lola at Portland on Wednesday, where he posted competitive lap times on a 'green' track.

The 25-year-old Canadian was at the top of team owner Dale Coyne's shopping list having tested impressively for the outfit during the winter.

"When we needed a driver, he was the first guy that we thought of," Coyne told the Toronto Star newspaper.

Valiante, a former international karting star and Toyota Atlantic standout, has been knocking on the door of a Champ Car drive for the best part of two years.

After several false starts he finally made his series debut with Walker Racing in Mexico City last November. Despite being handicapped by the inferior Reynard chassis, he qualified a strong 12th and outpaced the team's regular driver Mario Haberfeld all weekend.

"I've been trying to get this opportunity for a long time," said Valiante. "It's unfortunate what happened with Bruno and I hate to see anything like that, but that's how things happen in racing sometimes and that freed up this seat for me.

"Portland is one of the most difficult tracks to jump into because it has a lot of very fast corners and they are very long in duration, so you're turning a lot at high speeds.

"So for us it will be important to get the car right in those sections this weekend."

Valiante's deal is currently only for the Portland race but if he performs well - and the team do not need a major cash injection from a 'rent-a-driver' - he is thought likely to be hired for the remainder of the season.

shares
comments
Aston Unveil Club Racer

Previous article

Aston Unveil Club Racer

Next article

Wilson on Provisional Portland Pole

Wilson on Provisional Portland Pole
Load comments

About this article

Series General
Author Alex Sabine
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021
How Radical's latest machines fare on track Plus

How Radical's latest machines fare on track

The lightweight sportscar manufacturer has not rewritten the rulebook with its latest machines, but the new SR3 XX and SR10 still provide a step forward on its previous successful models

General
Feb 8, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Plus

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them

General
Jan 31, 2021
How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory Plus

How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory

The New Zealand Grand Prix's mix of rising talent and big-name stars thrilled the crowds (yes, remember crowds?) assembled for the Toyota Racing Series meeting at Hampton Downs last weekend and left distant observers craving a repeat

General
Jan 26, 2021
How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going Plus

How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going

OPINION: The 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix might have been a largely muted affair to the outside world without its international influx and star line-ups, another victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers deserve huge credit for keeping the party going

General
Nov 24, 2020
Engineer's view: Motorsport's revolutionary braking tool Plus

Engineer's view: Motorsport's revolutionary braking tool

Although brake pressure and temperature logging is commonplace, measuring and understanding braking performance hasn't been so straightforward. But that's about to change following the introduction of a groundbreaking new sensor

General
Oct 1, 2020
The high-tech materials helping Renault in its F1 rise Plus

The high-tech materials helping Renault in its F1 rise

The Renault F1 team is at the vanguard of innovative solutions pushing development of the V6 turbo hybrid engine rules, embracing the full potential of material science in its bid to get back to the top

General
Sep 29, 2020