Champ Car race winner Nelson Philippe is to contest the Indianapolis 500 for the first time, having signed to race HVM’s second car.
The Frenchman drove for HVM in Champ Car in 2006, taking victory at Surfers Paradise. But he has not contested a full season since then, making only a handful of Champ Car appearances and racing occasionally in the Superleague Formula and GP2 Asia since the end of 2006.
Philippe will join team regular EJ Viso at HVM for the Indy 500, and team boss Keith Wiggins was delighted to have him back on board.
“We are excited to have Nelson driving again for HVM Racing,” Wiggins said. “He won for us in 2006, which was quite an accomplishment for such a young driver, and had his best-ever season.
“Although he will be coming back to a new series, a new track, with huge competition and in the biggest event of the year, we will work together to achieve a good result. We always like challenges.”
HVM had hoped to expand to a second car for the full season this year, and came close to a deal with Ryan Hunter-Reay, but was unable to put a sponsorship package together.During the winter Philippe was linked to a family-run "Team France" IndyCar project that would have seen him and his brother Richard – a BMW Americas series champ now running in Indy Lights – line up as teammates, but this also failed to come to fruition.