Dale Coyne Racing completed a productive test on Saturday night at ISM Raceway, formerly known as Phoenix International Raceway. The team accomplished what they had set out to do at the Open Test with Sebastien Bourdais and rookie Pietro Fittipaldi completing 240 and 285 trouble-free laps, respectively, over the course of the two-day test.
Bourdais registered a fastest lap of 187.958mph around the one-mile oval aboard his Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan #18 SealMaster entry. His best lap, which was registered during the afternoon session on the final day of the test, placed him 11th in the overall timing charts.
Fittipaldi, who took his first laps aboard his #19 Paysafe machine on an oval on Thursday, impressed with his performance over the three days. The rookie consistently progressed with each session and was the highest placed rookie during the final session on Saturday night with the 10th quickest lap. His average speed of 187.217mph placed him 15th on the overall timing charts.
The Dale Coyne Racing team now heads back to their shop in Plainfield, IL as they continue preparations for the season opening race next month in St. Petersburg, FL. The team will be back on track on March 5 for a one-day test at Sebring International Raceway with Zach Claman De Melo back behind the wheel of the #19 Paysafe car alongside Bourdais in the #18 SealMaster Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan machine.
What they had to say:
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 SealMaster Honda):
“We definitely made some improvement to the SealMaster Honda car. I was quite a bit more comfortable on new tires. We still had work to do tonight to see how it was going to be on long runs, but I think everybody is struggling with the same thing as far as tire degradation. It’s just very low downforce and that is going to dictate how much degradation you get. At least we got some performance out of one lap. We still have a little bit of room to go and I can do a little better on my own, but we are heading in the right direction.”
PIETRO FITTIPALDI (No. 19 Paysafe Honda):
“I’m gaining more experience with each day. Like yesterday, the team is doing a good job and helping me get up to speed. We’re trying different things on the No. 19 Paysafe car so I can experience them and see what the changes do on the oval, especially on the longer runs when you have used tires to simulate a race run, and we also ran a bit in traffic. I think we made a good step forward in this session and I was happy with my progression over the three days of being in the car. I can’t wait to be back here in Phoenix in April.”