BOURDAIS HAS STRONG QUALIFYING RUN – WILL START FIFTH IN HONDA INDY 200
Sebastien Bourdais Qualifying Summary:
Sebastien Bourdais had a strong qualifying run and will start fifth in tomorrow’s Honda Indy 200 on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course permanent road circuit in Lexington, Ohio. Bourdais, in the No. 18 Team SealMaster – Dale Coyne Vasser-Sullivan entry, went out in Group 2 in Round 1 of qualifying and posted the fastest lap of the 12 drivers in his group. As a result, he advanced to the second round where he almost got caught out when the No. 60 car went off track while Bourdais was on his fast lap. The dirt from the off-track excursion forced Bourdais to abort, but he recovered and on the next lap recorded the sixth fastest time making it into the final round, the Firestone Fast 6. In the finals, Bourdais logged the fifth fastest lap of the session and will start on the inside of row three tomorrow…a far cry from the last place starting position he had last year when he had a miscue in qualifying, but in the race charged to a sixth place finish in one of the finest driving performances ever witnessed.
Sebastien Bourdais Qualifying Quote:
“The SealMaster Honda No. 18 is strong and has been strong all weekend. A very solid effort by the whole Dale Coyne Vasser-Sullivan team. The first run was perfect. It was just about as good a run as I could do. I may have had a little bit more in it, I over shot one corner, but I could bring the tires perfectly where I wanted them to be. In the second round, the 60 car went off the track in turn two and threw a lot of dirt on the track when I was on my hot lap. So I had to abort that lap and go again. In the Firestone Fast 6 we re-ran the tires from the second round. The sun came out a little too early for us and the hotter track temperature hurt us a little bit, we lost a bit of grip. When you are first in the first round you want to do more, but I’m happy with fifth especially after last year.”
Today’s fifth place qualifying spot ties Bourdais second highest of the season and is the second time he has made the Firestone Fast 6. In the first 13 races of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season, Bourdais has now qualified in the top-10 eight times including a season high third at Texas, a fifth at Barber Motorsports Park, seventh at Road America and for the Indy 500, eighth at Toronto, ninth for Detroit Race 2, and 10th for the INDYCAR Grand Prix.
Bourdais has now qualified in the top-10 five times, including three times in the top-three with one pole (2014) in nine attempts at Mid-Ohio. In eight previous races he has finished in the top-10 five times with three top-five performances and a best showing of second in 2014.
After the first 12 races of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season, Bourdais is 10th in the championship standings with 255 points. He has a season high third place finish at Barber, a fifth at COTA, eighth at Toronto and Texas; ninth at Detroit GP Race 2 and Iowa. He has finished 11th three times, Detroit Race 1, Long Beach and the INDYCAR GP, placed 12th at Road America, 24th at St. Petersburg and 30th in the Indy 500.
Bourdais is contesting his 14th NTT IndyCar Series season and second with Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan.
The 2019 Honda Indy 200 will be Bourdais 201st NTT IndyCar Series start and ninth at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
In 200 career IndyCar starts, he has won 37 races (sixth all-time) and captured 34 pole positions (seventh all time).
Bourdais is the only driver to win four consecutive IndyCar championships (2004 – 2007).
Bourdais, 40, is a native of Le Mans, France but resides in St. Petersburg, Florida