Heroic Effort by Crew Following Practice Crash
Sebastien Bourdais Qualifying Summary:
A heroic effort by the Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan crew, and a major assist from teammates of the No. 19 and No. 39 cars, allowed Sebastien Bourdais to overcome a huge crash in morning practice and qualify the No. 18 Gorilla Automotive Products car a solid fourth for tomorrow’s Portland Grand Prix at Portland International Raceway.
With just minutes remaining in the morning practice, Bourdais turned the fastest lap of the session. Shortly thereafter he entered the Turn 10-11 complex when suddenly he spun and slammed into the wall causing major damage to the rear of the car. The crew immediately flew into action and teammates from the other two Dale Coyne Racing cars jumped in to help. The extensive damage was repaired in under three hours allowing Bourdais to compete in the qualifying session. He went out in Group 2 in the first round of qualifying and despite not knowing the condition of the car advanced into the second round by placing fourth in Round 1. In Round 2, he logged the third quickest lap to advance to the Firestone Fast Six (the final round) where he notched the fourth fastest lap.
Sebastien Bourdais Qualifying Quote:
“The Gorilla Automotive Products Honda No. 18 crew did an amazing job. Honestly, I am still not entirely sure what happened, but I probably just missed the apex by about a foot and got myself in the dirt and that was that. The line was that narrow. When I got out of the car I didn’t think we had a chance to get back out for qualifying, but the entire team, all three crews with Dale Coyne Racing and Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan just pulled together. Man, it was pretty impressive. The car was just about as good as it was this morning, so it was pretty amazing. My hats off to those guys. Hopefully we can get a good result out this for the crew and our sponsors.”
- Bourdais has qualified in the top five six times and top 10 nine times with one pole in 15 qualifying sessions this season (the grid at last weekend’s race at Gateway Motorsports Park was set by points due to inclement weather).
- In addition to today’s fourth place qualifying spot, Bourdais captured the pole at Phoenix, qualified third for the INDYCAR Grand Prix and at Barber, fifth for the Indianapolis 500 and at Texas, sixth at Road America, eighth at Pocono and ninth at Long Beach.
- In six qualifying attempts at PIR, Bourdais has now qualified in the top five all six times with a pole in 2004.
- In five previous races at PIR, Bourdais has finished on the podium four times with two wins 2004 and 2007.
- This is the fifth time Bourdais has reached the second round of road/street course qualifying and the fourth time he has made the Firestone Fast Six.
- Bourdais is 10th in the championship standings with 334 points on the strength of six top-10 finishes (four in the top-five). Bourdais has a win at St. Petersburg, a fourth-place finish in the INDYCAR GP and Pocono, a fifth at Barber (sixth at Mid-Ohio and eighth at Texas).
- Bourdais is contesting his 13th Verizon IndyCar Series season, third with Dale Coyne Racing and first with Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan.
- The 2018 Portland Grand Prix will be Bourdais’ 187th Verizon IndyCar Series start and sixth at Portland International Raceway.
- In 186 career IndyCar starts, Bourdais has won 37 races (sixth all-time) and captured 34 pole positions (seventh all-time).
- Bourdais is the only driver to win four consecutive IndyCar championships (2004 – 2007).
- Bourdais, 39, is a native of Le Mans, France but resides in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Round 16 of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series, will be the Grand Prix of Portland, August 31 – September 2, at Portland International Raceway in Portland, OR.. The race will be broadcast live on NBCSN at 2:3 0 p.m. ET. It is also available on radio: XM 209 and IMS IndyCar Radio as well as online: IndyCar.com and Verizon IndyCar 15 app.