BIRMINGHAM—Qualifying for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama was disappointing for the AJ Foyt Racing team especially after the positive test at this track in February when they were quickest amongst the 12 cars that tested at Barber Motorsport Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
The team never seemed to find the sweet spot in the setup on either car in the two practice sessions before the late afternoon qualifying rounds.
Bourdais, who qualified 16th with a time of 1 minute, 6.5035 seconds (124.505mph), explained,
“It was a bit of a tough day for the 14v ROKiT Chevrolet and A.J. Foyt Racing team. We had a really successful test and we were hoping for a really good weekend. Unfortunately, we unloaded a bit off this morning and we never really did figure it out and we ended up P-8 in qualifying in our group so a bit disappointed. Guess it’s going to be a long day tomorrow so we’ll try to make the best of it.”
Kellett, who shares a similar driving style to Bourdais, will start 23rd after posting s time of 1 minute, 7.8 seconds (122.106mph) in his No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet.
“It was a bit of a tough qualifying session for us,” said Kellett. “I didn’t quite get the most out of the car on the second lap on reds. On our quick lap, I had a big moment through the kink that cost us about half a second which obviously hurt us. I never did feel like I got the tires up to temp and didn’t quite feel I had the grip. So I have to think about it and look at what Seb was doing differently because the cars were pretty similar, so it was more of a feel thing than an actual setup difference. So we’ll have to see what he was doing to make it work and use that going into tomorrow.”
Pato O’Ward won the pole with a time of 1 minute, 5.8479 seconds (125.744mph). Completing the Firestone Fast Six were: Alexander Rossi, Alex Palou, Will Power, Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson.
The teams have a final 30-minute practice tomorrow morning before the race which will be broadcast live on NBC starting at 3 p.m. ET.