Long Beach, CA (April 8, 2017) – Dale Coyne Racing drivers had mixed emotions following qualifying on Saturday for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach which saw Sebastien Bourdais place 12th and Ed Jones 13th on the grid for Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series race.
Frenchman Bourdais was hoping to make it into the Firestone Fast 6 entering today’s qualifying session. However, it wasn’t meant to be for the #18 Trench Shoring Honda driver.
After easily making it into the second round of qualifying by registering the fourth fastest lap of his group in Round 1, Bourdais missed out on the final round by only two tenths of a second. His lap of 1:06.7853 was only good for 12th in a very competitive field where the top 12 cars were within 0.55 seconds.
Rookie Ed Jones put in his best Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying effort after placing seventh in Group 1, Round 1 of qualifying. However, while he was happy with his performance, he was left wanting more with his fast lap of 1:07.5832 putting him only 0.1683 seconds away from advancing to the second round.
Bourdais and Jones, the reigning Indy Lights Champion and winner of the last Indy Lights race at Long Beach in 2015, will be back on track at 9am local time for the morning warm-up.
The 85-lap Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be broadcast live on NBCSN starting at 4:00pm ET with the race going green at 4:30pm ET (1:30PM local).
What they have to say:
Sebastien Bourdais – #18 Trench Shoring Company Honda
“Qualifying was OK in Q1 and then Q2, we ran out of juice I guess. I thought it was a decent lap but we came out two tenths short of making the Firestone Fast 6 and not only that but when you finish 12th in Q2 you think to yourself, we should have saved the tires! It’s obviously not the way we want to go so I’m disappointed for the group and to end up there. It’s so close, two tenths and you’re in or you’re out. I made a small mistake and that was enough. It’s not a fun race from mid pack and a lot of bad things can come your way. If it’s an incident free race like last year it’s tough to make stuff happen. We’ll keep digging and see what happens.”
Ed Jones – #19 Boy Scouts of America
“It’s been great work by the team. I struggled a bit in practice but we worked hard overnight to improve the car from yesterday. The changes proved that we went in the right direction. It was a very good qualifying for me, so close to the Fast 12. It’s a bit frustrating, but thanks to the team for giving me the car to do that. I’m really confident for the race. I have great memories here from racing in Indy Lights two years ago, so I hope I can add to those memories tomorrow.”