Plainfield, IL (February 12, 2017) – Dale Coyne Racing drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Ed Jones completed their first and only pre-season oval test of 2017 on Saturday with Bourdais registering the third quickest average time amongst the entire 2017 field that was present at the open test.
The driver of the #18 Dale Coyne Racing entry completed each session in the Top 9 and placed second in the final practice session on Saturday evening, only 2 hundredths of a second behind first place.
“The team did a really job and we got a lot of information over the two days of testing. We’re still looking for a bit of extra speed, but so is everybody else. We obviously looked pretty settled straight away because Ed had that rookie day on Wednesday. We’re both pretty comfortable, I had the opportunity to shake his car down and do 10 laps like you can when there is a rookie day like that, so that gives you a little bit of extra confidence and we could run a fairly trim car straight away on Friday.
“We got to the thick of it on Saturday and really trimmed the car out to pretty much what we have, but you can always make small adjustments after that, get the balance a little closer so you get a bit less scrub and this and that. But you know, after that, the racing is quite a bit different, and you have to have a big game of patience,” concluded Bourdais.
Once again, rookie Ed Jones used the test to continue to familiarize himself in what was a new environment for him. The Dubai-born racer was driving an Indy car for the first time on an oval, having only completed his rookie evaluation a couple of days before the start of the open test on Friday. Jones had a productive test, placing as high as ninth in one session.
“Overall it’s been a good couple of days. The first session on Friday went really well but I struggled a little bit more in the night session when we were simulating race running. It was my first time running like that so it was a lot to take in. We were also practicing pit stops with out laps and in laps. We knew it was going to be hard but I guess that it’s just part of the learning process and I’ll be better next time,” shared Jones.
Jones will get one more day of testing at Sebring International Raceway on February 28 before kicking off the season on March 12 at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.