Tristan Vautier is a French racing driver who currently competes as a Mercedes driver for private teams in different GT competitions and as an endurance co-driver in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Previously in a career, he contested mostly in open-wheel racing competitions, becoming the champion in the 2011 Star Mazda Championship and the 2012 Indy Lights series before spending a full season in the 2013 IndyCar Series.
Three seasons in Formula Renault competitions
Born in Saint-Martin-d'Hères in southeastern France, Vautier began his career in karting competitions and then switched to bigger cars in the 2006 French Formula Renault Campus series. He won six times to finish second in the points, behind Kevin Estre.
In 2007, Vautier progressed to the Formula Renault 2.0, competing both in the Eurocup and the French championship. In 2008, his main competition was the Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup.
A season in the French GT Championship
After three seasons with Renault, the next step was the Formula Palmer Audi in 2009. With six wins, Vautier finished fourth in the points. He also participated in two races of the FIA Formula Two Championship.
In 2009, Vautier also made a debut in the sports car racing, driving a Dodge Viper Competition Coupe for CGR Mediaco in the French GT Championship. His co-driver was Jean Charles Levy. Scoring one victory and two podiums, Vautier was 13th in the final championship standings.
Vautier entered Mazda Road to Indy program in 2010
The next step in the open-wheel racing career was a move to North America in 2010. He joined Andersen Racing to compete in the Star Mazda Championship, a part of Mazda Road to Indy program.
He won the season-opener at Sebring Raceway and then one more time at New Jersey Motorsports Park. At the end of the season, he was fifth in the points.
Star Mazda champion in 2011, Indy Lights champ in 2012
Vautier returned to the series in 2011, driving for JDC Motorsports. He won four races and finished every race in the top five, dominantly winning the championship over Connor De Phillippi by 25 points. With the title, Vautier won a scholarship to move to Indy Lights series in 2012.
Driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, Vautier became Indy Lights champion in 2012, scoring four wins and seven podiums.
2013 IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year
His Road to Indy career continued in the 2013 IndyCar Series, where he was driving the #55 Honda for Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports. He was the only rookie to participate full season so he easily took Rookie of the Year honors.
His best result was 10th place at Alabama Grand Prix. In his Indianapolis 500 debut, Vautier finished 16th. He was 20th in the final standings.
Part-time IndyCar return in 2015
Vautier returned to IndyCar Series in 2015, as Dale Coyne Racing's driver for Indianapolis 500 and the rest of the season. He was 28th at Indy 500, scoring two top 10 results after that – fourth place at Detroit and sixth place at Mid-Ohio.
In 2017, Vautier had a one-off appearance for Dale Coyne Racing at Texas Motor Speedway, finishing in 16th place.
Occasional sports car racing from 2012 to 2015
Following his GT racing debut in 2009, Vautier returned to a cockpit of GT car in 2012, driving a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 for Sofrev ASP team at 24 Hours of Spa. They finished in the 10th place. He returned to Spa with the same team in 2014, finishing 22nd.
In 2014, he was hired by the Mazda factory team to race in four endurance races of the 2014 IMSA United SportsCar Championship in a diesel-powered Mazda prototype. He was sharing a car with Tristan Nunez and Joel Miller. They retired at Daytona 24 Hours, Sebring 12 Hours and Petit Le Mans.
At 2015 Daytona 24 Hours, he joined JDC/Miller Motorsports to drive Oreca FLM 09, finishing third in the Prototype Challenge class.
Full season in the 2016 Blancpain Sprint Series
During 2015, Vautier rejoined Akka ASP Team in few races of the Blancpain Endurance Series with Ferrari. In 2016, he spent a full season with the team in the Blancpain Sprint Series, sharing the #86 Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Felix Rosenqvist. Scoring one victory in ten races, they finished seventh in the final standings.
In July 2016, Vautier finished on a podium at Spa 24 Hours, sharing the #88 Mercedes with Felix Rosenqvist and Renger van der Zande.
2017 - double program with Mercedes-AMG GT3
In 2017, Vautier stayed with Akka ASP in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup but also signed for SunEnergy1 Racing to drive the #75 Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the GTD class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
His partners in the European-based Blancpain GT Series are Dani Juncadella and Felix Serralles.He won one race, the season's finale at Barcelona, finishing 16th in the points. In North America, Vautier was sharing a car with SunEnergy1 team owner Kenny Habul and veteran Boris Said. He scored two podiums in GTD class, including at Sebring 12 Hours, finishing 19th in the points.
Podium at 2018 Bathurst 12 Hours
In 2018, Vautier slowed down his racing activities, not competing full-time. He opened a year with a podium at Bathurst 12 Hour, finishing second in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Scott Taylor Motorsport, sharing a car with Kenny Habul, Jamie Whincup and Raffaele Marciello.
In other competitions, he joined Spirit of Daytona Racing as an endurance driver in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the #90 Cadillac DPi. In the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, he rejoined Akka ASP in selected events.
In 2019, Vautier joined JDC/Miller Motorsports to drive a Cadillac DPi on a full-time basis in the IMSA Championship but also continues to race with Mercedes customer teams in GT racing events.