ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 19, 2021) —Under sunny skies with temperatures in the mid-70s, qualifying at Road America today took a surprise turn as Josef Newgarden chose new primary tires instead of used alternate Firestones in the final round of qualifying to earn the pole for the REV Group Grand Prix. The increased tire degradation has been the talk in the paddock this weekend and it should make for an interesting race tomorrow with different strategies coming into play.
Driving the No. 14 ROKiT Chevrolet, Sebastien Bourdais advanced to the second round in qualifying for
the third time in five of the street/road course races run this season. He ran in the top-10 in the previous two 45-minute practice sessions yesterday afternoon and this morning. As the track heated up, the challenge heated up as well. He will start 11th.
“Pretty decent qualifying for the ROKiT 14 Chevrolet at AJ Foyt Racing,” Bourdais said. “Just missing a little bit to make it to the Fast Six. Still trying to figure out everything we need to do but good progress and we’ll keep working at it.”
Dalton Kellett improved his lap times from yesterday to today as his No. 4 K-Line Insulators crew made some changes to the car overnight.
“We closed the gap up a little bit in qualifying,” Kellett said, adding, “but it wasn’t really enough to get further out of Round 1 but definitely some improvements from practice. That in-lap was on for a 46.5 (one minute, 46.5 seconds), but just had a big lock-up in [turn] 8 and that cost us four or five tenths. A bit of a struggle there, but definitely happy with the progression we made from the start of the weekend. We’ve got some good data to look at to compare to Seb and see where he was quicker, looks like mostly in Turns 1 and 2, those high commitment corners, so getting up to speed with that. Looking forward to seeing what we can do in final practice and seeing what we have for the race.”
Rounding out the Firestone Fast 6 were: Colton Herta, Jack Harvey, Will Power, Alex Palou and Simon Pagenaud.
Teams will have a final practice this afternoon. The REV Group Grand Prix will be broadcast live tomorrow on NBC Sports Network starting at 12 noon ET.