Plainfield, IL (April 6, 2017) – Dale Coyne Racing enters the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this weekend hot off a victory on the streets of St. Petersburg last month, giving the team and its drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Ed Jones plenty of momentum to take on the second round of the Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Although the Plainfield, IL-based team scored a win in the first round of the year with Sebastien Bourdais, it continues with humble expectations, aware of the level of competition in the Series.
Bourdais, who sported the Sonny’s BBQ logo in St. Petersburg, will have Trench Shoring Company, a local underground excavating company, as a primary sponsor on his 18 car for this weekend’s event at Long Beach.
In recent years, Bourdais’ best result at Long Beach came in 2015 with a sixth-place finish. While the Frenchman has always done well on the 1.968-mile, 12-turn circuit, having won three years in a row in Champ Car, his results in the last few years have not always reflected his on-track potential.
The Frenchman hopes to change that this time around in what will be his 12th start at Long Beach.
Rookie Ed Jones, who progressed throughout the weekend in St. Petersburg, capping off the weekend with a 10th place finish, brings his new-found experience to Long Beach as he looks to build on the impressive performance he put in in his IndyCar Series debut.
The driver of the #19 Boy Scouts of America car previously raced, and won, on the streets of Long Beach in 2015 in the Indy Lights Series, his only appearance at the California track.
Bourdais and Jones will be on track starting Friday, April 7 and fans can watch Practice 2 live on NBCSN starting at 5pm ET. All other practice sessions will be streamed online at racecontrol.indycar.com.
Saturday’s qualifying session will also be broadcast on NBCSN at 7:30pm ET with the race broadcast starting at 4pm ET on Sunday, April 9th. The 85-lap race will go green at 4:30pm ET (1:30PM local).
What they have to say:
Sebastien Bourdais – #18 Trench Shoring Company Honda
“I’ve mostly always done well at Long Beach, although looking at my results there the last few years, they were not necessarily what they could have been for different reasons. It’s a circuit that I very much enjoy driving on, like any street circuit to be honest. I think it suits my driving style quite well. If we find the right balance on the car, I think things can go well for us this weekend. We’re always aiming to be in the top five because from there anything can happen. I know people will ask if we can win again this weekend at Long Beach, well, we didn’t expect to win in St. Petersburg. That said, for us it’s more a question of proving our potential versus getting that ultimate result. Yes, winning was a great bonus for everyone on the team, but we also want to validate everything we’re doing. At St. Petersburg, we didn’t have the fastest car but we had potential and that’s what I take away from that race and it’s what motivates me as we move forward with this program.”
Ed Jones – #19 Boy Scouts of America
“I’m really looking forward to the second round of the season. St. Pete was such a good experience for me. I think I was more comfortable in the end than I thought I was going to be. It was a great result as well. We built even more on that at the Barber Test so all in all I think we made a lot of steps forward. I know a lot more what to expect when I get to a race weekend after what I learned at St. Pete and I can’t wait to bring that experience to Long Beach, work on that and improve from there. I’ve been to Long Beach once before, in 2015, and I won there in Indy Lights. It was too bad that Indy Lights didn’t race there last year. Long Beach is in my top two favorite events that I’ve done, so I really can’t wait to get back there. It’s always a great atmosphere, a great circuit and racing in California is always nice.”