Davison chooses to get paid to drive rather than ‘buy’ an IndyCar ride

[Although he drove one IndyCar race in 2013 and showed he is quite capable, Australian James Davison has decided paying to drive is ludicrous – a broken model. Instead Davison will get paid to drive, just as it should be if the sport is considered professional and not amateur. And as long as IndyCar sticks with NBCSN and its low TV ratings, teams will continue to rely on ride-buyers to stay afloat and IndyCar will continue to look amateurish and continue its downward spiral.]

TRG-AMR has secured the first hot shoe for its Aston Martin Vantage program, with the signing of James Davison for next year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Sportscar365 has learned that the 27-year-old U.S.-based Australian will compete in the entire 11-round TUDOR Championship in one of TRG’s planned two-car Aston Martin Vantage GT3 operation in the GT Daytona category in 2014.

Davison, the 2009 Indy Lights runner-up, met team owner Kevin Buckler through Aston Martin Racing factory driver Richie Stanaway, who drove for TRG in the season-ending Rolex Sports Car Series race at Lime Rock Park in September.

“I met Kevin and about an hour before the first practice session," Davison told Sportscar365. “In meeting him, I got the nod to drive the [Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge) GS car for the weekend.

“We had a very good run. We finished fourth in the race. It certainly gave me the opportunity to show what I could do to Kevin."

That led to a test in TRG’s GT3-based Aston at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in Palm Springs, Calif., followed by the two TUDOR Championship pre-season test sessions at Sebring and Daytona, prior to the deal being finalized late last week.

“After an extensive testing program the last coupe of weeks, James has clearly been on the top of the dog pile," Buckler said. “He’s clever, he’s fit and he’s yet to make a mistake in all the testing we’ve done. He’s so clean on the track and he’s brutally fast in everything I’ve put him in.

“It’s going to be a fantastic year and hopefully we can get on those guys in GT. We’re trying to build a championship team and this is one of the pegs we’ve put into place."

For Davison, it marks his first full-time sports car racing program after competing in a handful of DP races for Starworks Motorsport and Michael Shank Racing in 2010 and 2011, respectively, as well as this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour in a Porsche.

“To think at the beginning of this year by doing the Bathurst 12 Hour, two IndyCar races, a Conti race and end up with a full-time ride in GTD, with no money behind me whatsoever, is certainly very gratifying," Davison said.

“It’s been a big struggle the last couple of years of my career since the economy tightened up and a number of drivers were left in the cold. I’ve just persevered and it’s certainly paid off."

The remainder of TRG’s lineup for its planned two-car assault is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Sportscar365.com

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