NDIANAPOLIS (May 14, 2021)—After the first day on track at the IMS road course, A.J. Foyt’s team still has to figure out the right combination for tomorrow’s GMR Grand Prix.
Sebastien Bourdais lost out on the first practice session due to an electrical issue with his No. 14 ROKiT Chevrolet which was fixed in time for the second 45-minute practice session. It wasn’t quite enough time to sort out the car. Bourdais qualified 20th with a lap time of 1 minute, 10.1830 seconds on the 2.439 mile road course.
Left to right: Bourdais, race engineer Justin Taylor and Larry Foyt.
“Not the greatest day for the 14 ROKiT Chevrolet with AJ Foyt Racing,” said Bourdais. “Bit of a difficult morning, didn’t turn a single lap and this afternoon, struggled a little bit with balance issues. Honestly didn’t really find the fixes we were looking for from the last time around at the GP, but we’ll keep digging and hopefully we’ll find something for the warm-up tomorrow.”
Charlie Kimball, who is making his first start of the 2021 season in his No. 11 Tresiba Chevrolet, will start 21st after posting a lap time of 1 minute, 10.6810 seconds.
“It felt great to get back in the car again,” said Kimball. “We had a little bit of first day challenges for the No. 11 Tresiba crew but we worked through it. We had a solid qualifying, but not where we want to be position-wise, and, especially as a team, I think we’re working through some challenges. But man, it felt good to be back in the car, it felt good to be back here at IMS and even better to have all the fans here. I signed a lot of autographs here in the garage area today, and it just reminded me that this is May!”
Dalton Kellett qualified 24th in the No. 4 K-Line Insulators Chevrolet with a time of 1 minute, 10.9312 seconds.
“Day 1 at IMS and it was great to see the fans back out here and they’re definitely out in full force,” remarked Kellett. “There were lots of people out trying to make up for lost time getting all their rookie pictures signed from last year. As far as qualifying, it was a bit tough. We thought we had decent pace in practice, and then got held up on our two quick laps on reds, so that was a bit unfortunate. Regardless, we still have to find a little bit in the car. We’re struggling a bit with mid-corner understeer and a little loose off with the traction. Still trying to figure it out. We have three cars here, the third car with Charlie so we have lots of data points. We’re all having similar issues so I think we can put our heads together and come up with something good for tomorrow.”
Indy car rookie and ex-Formula 1 veteran Romain Grosjean won his first career NTT Pole Award in the NTT IndyCar Series with a lap time of 1 minute, 9.4396 seconds. Second though six were: Josef Newgarden, Jack Harvey, Alex Palou, rookie Scott McLaughlin and Conor Daly.
The teams have a 30-minute warmup Saturday morning in final preparation for the GMR Grand Prix, which will be broadcast live Saturday afternoon on NBC starting at 2 p.m. ET.