Dale Coyne Racing shows progress in qualifying
St. Petersburg, FL (March 12, 2016) – Dale Coyne Racing didn’t have the day they were hoping for on Saturday during qualifying for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with Luca Filippi qualifying 16th and Conor Daly 21st.
However, despite their positions on the starting grid, the team showed quite a bit of progress in what is a very competitive Verizon IndyCar Series field. All 22 drivers were separated by less than a second following the day’s only practice session.
Daly was first up for the Dale Coyne Racing team in Group 1 of qualifying. The young American progressed throughout the session, improving his lap time with every lap, placing as high as fifth. However, when the checkered flag fell on the 10-minute session, the rookie found himself 11th in his group with a time of 1:01.9385, meaning that he will start Sunday’s race in 21st place on the grid.
His teammate, Filippi, went out in Group 2 and showed much improvement from the earlier practice session, even taking over first place provisionally. Halfway through the session the Italian was second but moments later he would end up eighth in his group with a fastest time of 1:01.1699. His position in Round 1 of qualifying places him 16th on the starting grid.
Daly and Filippi will be back in action tomorrow, March 13 at 9am for a 30-minute warm up session. The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg goes green at 12:52pm and will be broadcast live on ABC starting at 12:30pm.
Dale Coyne Racing Driver Quotes
Luca Filippi – #19 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q
Qualified 8th in Round 1/Group 2, 16th on grid
“We made some changes to the car and it is reacting well. We were just a little too conservative and we had a little too much understeer which is probably our limit to get a little quicker. But it’s not too bad, the gap to P1 is not huge and the gap to P6, to go through to the next round, was very, very small. It’s important that we made an improvement but it’s more important that we are in the fight. One tenth in qualifying can put you further up in the classification but in the race it just means that if we can be consistent we can really fight for the top positions.
“Obviously, you always want to do better than this and you always want to be in the Top 5 or 10 but we are not far and especially for tomorrow, I think we have some cards to play.”
Conor Daly – #18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality & Restaurant Group
Qualified: 11th in Round 1/ Group 1, 21st on grid
“I’m disappointed for sure. You’re never, ever happy in the back. We have quite a bit to do but we’ve done a lot, we’ve investigated a lot, we’ve tried a lot, so no matter what it will help going down the road for the season. I also got impeded by traffic, sadly, but that’s part of the game. If you go through a weekend without, at one point, getting traffic you won the lottery so, no blame there, it’s just part of their game and we just have to put ourselves in a better position next time. We’ll see what happens in the race.”