James Davison explains early Indy crash
James Davison has explained that an anti-rollbar problem ultimately led to his early exit from this year’s Indianapolis 500.
Davison battled an ill-handling Dallara-Chevrolet and was running off the pace when his car was rear-ended by the car driven by 2017 Indianapolis winner Takuma Sato.
Both entries were forced out of the race with crash damage, with Sato classified 32nd and Davison 33rd and last.
“We had the rear anti-rollbar jam on and it was just our worst nightmare,” Davision told Speedcafe.com.
“I wasn’t able to change the balance and as you can see, the cars are very difficult to drive this year, added with the hot temperatures today.
“When you have a situation where you’re holding onto a car and the balance isn’t in the window, it can go from bad to worse like that.
“Obviously, I wanted to not spin the car by myself and I tried to stay out of the way of everyone.
“But when you get pushed in the marbles, your speed drops even more and Taku just couldn’t slow down and avoid me.
“I obviously feel for him and his team getting caught up in that.”
Davison said he tried to overcome the broken anti-rollbar with cockpit adjustments but he was lapping around 15mph (24km/h) off the pace before the Lap 46 incident.
He also said that pitting to repair the malfunction was not an option.
“It’s not something that was possible to do,” he remarked.
“We tried some tyre pressure changes with the right front trying to induce understeer into the car but that didn’t fix it.
“The problem was whenever I got close to any other car, my car was super loose and I had to read the warning signs.
“I tried pushing the envelope a couple times but it seems every time I did it, I was getting closer and closer to spinning.”
Davison spent most of his time at Indianapolis this year on the back foot after a practice crash left him in jeopardy of failing to qualify.
But he rebounded strongly and was one of the stars of Pole Day, increasing his qualifying speed by 2mph to improve from 33rd to 19th.
“I’m still proud of this Foyt/Hollinger/Belardi team for sticking with it and overcoming the adversities we faced,” Davison said.
“Doing it with a fantastic group of people is always a great experience in life.
“We weren’t in a position to win this year but our aim was just to hang in there and do the best we could.
“We didn’t expect to face the adversity of the ant-roll bar today, but that’s motorsport.
“There are thousands of variables and everything has got to go right for any driver to be in victory lane.
“It just wasn’t our year.”