Long Beach, CA (April 17, 2016) – Conor Daly and Luca Filippi had another good race for Dale Coyne Racing in Round 3 of the Verizon IndyCar Series, but once again the final results were not an indication of the team’s performance. Daly finished 13th as the top rookie and Filippi 17th in what was the fastest ever Grand Prix of Long Beach, with green flag racing from start to finish.
When looking at Daly’s identical starting and finishing position, it may appear as if he had an uneventful race, but that wasn’t the case. The rookie initially gained a spot in the early stages of the 80 lap event and moved up as high as 10th at one point and as low as 16th. However, the American fought his way back to 13th to finish as the best rookie in the field.
Filippi, who was starting 12th, suffered damage to his front wing on the first lap when Carlos Munoz made contact with him while avoiding another car. The team decided to wait before changing his front wing since his lap times were initially still good instead of losing time with an unplanned pit stop. However, with no full course cautions helping their cause and the loss of aerodynamics on the car eventually affecting lap times, the 19 crew decided to change the front wing in their last pit stop.
The extra time in pit lane for the wing change may have cost Filippi in terms of on track position but he went on to register the fifth fastest lap of the race and a 17th place finish.
The team will be back in action, looking for better results next weekend with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama taking place next weekend April 24, 2016.
Dale Coyne Racing Driver Quotes
Conor Daly – #18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality & Restaurant Group
“We made the right calls today, we did what we could do. I felt like I passed a lot of cars. I got by Hunter-Reay, Munoz and a couple other guys. It really felt like I was making progress but everyone just kind of sorted themselves out. I’m really surprised it went green all the way. That was my first full green IndyCar race so that was tough. When I lost a spot to Kimball, the rear came all the way around in Turn 8 and I was just drifting towards the wall thinking here it goes but I saved it. We have to come out of it with the fact that we’re the highest finishing rookie and, overall I think we did a great job.”
Luca Filippi – #19 Boy Scouts of America
“I had a good start, side by side with Munoz. He gave me enough space and we went around Turn 1 and everything was fine until then. Eventually something happened in front of him and he had to avoid somebody and he turned suddenly to the left and hit my wing. From there my front wing was broken and we chose to wait before changing it because I was able to continue and we didn’t want to lose too much time in the pits with an extra stop. It was difficult though because we lost about 10% of our aero balance and downforce so I was limited by the cars aerodynamics. It’s a shame because after a while, nothing was happening in terms of yellow flags so we decided to change the wing for the last stint and we had the fifth fastest lap of the race and we had a strong pace at the end. It could have been a different race. It’s a bit of a shame, normally with this kind of racing you can have a problem and with other things happening in the race you are able to recover and come back and still have a chance but it wasn’t like that today. Next time will be better.”