Picks up two positions during Fast Nine Shootout
Sebastien Bourdais Qualifying Summary:
Sebastien Bourdais will start seventh for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, May 26, on the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval in Speedway, Indiana. Bourdais, behind the wheel of the No. 18 Team SealMaster – Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan car, entered the Fast Nine shootout in the ninth position. He was the first to make a qualifying attempt and ran a strong four-lap average speed of 228.621 to jump past both Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi on the starting grid. Bourdais will line-up on the inside of Row 3 for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Sebastien Bourdais Qualifying Quote:
“It was a pretty solid run in the No. 18 SealMaster car. The higher you start the better it is. We should’ve been a little faster if I had downshifted like I was supposed to, but not a huge deal. We knew with the weather conditions that it was going to be a little tricky to extract more out of the car because the air was denser. At the end of the day the goal was to get the car in and not make any mistakes. We did that so at least I feel at peace with myself compared to yesterday. We’ll just try to execute in the race and have a solid day next Sunday.”
Bourdais has now qualified in the top-10 three times in eight attempts on the IMS Super Speedway oval. The seventh place starting spot ties his second best starting position behind a fifth place qualifying position last year. He qualified seventh in 2015. In seven previous races he has finished in the top-five twice with a best showing of seventh in 2014 (finished ninth in 2016).
This is the second consecutive year that Bourdais has made the Fast Nine. Last year he qualified an Indy 500 career best fifth.
Bourdais is two years removed from a horrific crash at IMS during Indy 500 qualifying. He returned last year and had a remarkable qualifying performance earning a career best fifth place starting position for the Indy 500.
In the first six races of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season, Bourdais has now qualified in the top-10 three times with a best qualifying effort of fifth at Barber. His first two qualifying efforts of the season were plagued by red flags and he ended up starting 19th in the season opener at St. Petersburg and 17th at COTA. He qualified 14th at Long Beach, 10th for the INDYCAR GP and seventh for the Indy 500.
Bourdais is driving the No. 18 Team SealMaster – Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan entry for the Indianapolis 500.
He is eighth in the championship standings with 111 points just 27 points out of fourth place. Bourdais finished 24th in the season opener at St. Petersburg (non-team related issue ended his race), then had back-to-back top-five performances placing fifth at COTA and third at Barber. He finished 11th in his last two events, Long Beach and the INDYCAR Grand Prix.
Bourdais is contesting his 14th NTT IndyCar Series season and second with Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan.
The 2019 Indianapolis 500 will be Bourdais’ 194th NTT IndyCar Series start, eighth on the Speedway oval and 41st career oval race.
In 193 career IndyCar starts, Bourdais has won 37 races (sixth all-time) and captured 34 pole positions (seventh all time).
Of Bourdais’ 40 career oval starts, 32 have come in the last seven years (31 in last six years). He has four poles (Phoenix, 2018; Milwaukee, 2006; Las Vegas, 2005; Lausitz, 2003). Phoenix was his first pole since Mid-Ohio in 2014 and first on an oval since 2006 at Milwaukee. Bourdais has earned five oval wins (Milwaukee, 2015; Milwaukee 2006; Las Vegas in 2005 and 2004; Lausitz, 2003). The oval win in Milwaukee in 2015 was his first oval victory since 2006 also at Milwaukee.
Bourdais made eight oval starts in Champ Car earning four victories: Lausitz, 2003; Las Vegas, 2004 and 2005; Milwaukee 2006 and capturing three poles: Lausitz, 2003; Las Vegas, 2005; Milwaukee, 2006.
Bourdais is the only driver to win four consecutive IndyCar championships (2004 – 2007).
Bourdais, 40, is a native of Le Mans, France but resides in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Round six of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series will be the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, Sunday, May 26, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.