Toronto, Ontario (July 16, 2017) – It was a long weekend to forget for the Dale Coyne Racing team at the Honda Indy Toronto with Esteban Gutierrez coming back from a qualifying crash on Saturday to finish 14th and Ed Jones suffering an oil line issue that ended his race with 10 laps remaining.
Earlier in the day, Gutierrez was cleared to drive after being re-evaluated by INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Michael Olinger. The driver of the #18 Unifin car had experienced concussion-like symptoms following his crash.
With the car suffering damage to the tub in the crash, the team was forced to turn to its unbuilt spare car and build a new one from scratch. Fortunately for him, the #18 and 19 crews joined forces, and 100 man hours later the car was ready for morning warm-up.
Things started out nicely for Jones as he gradually made his way through the field during his first stint. He was sitting in seventh place when a full course caution came out on lap 23. With a light drizzle of rain falling, the team gambled on the strategy and elected not to pit during the yellow flag period.
This decision initially moved Jones into second place. However, the driver of the #19 Boy Scouts of America car had to pit 10 laps later and rejoined the field in 18th place.
In the meantime, his teammate who had pitted earlier in in the race had made his way up to 11th by the midway point of the race.
By the time both drivers completed their second and final pit stop with 30 laps remaining, Gutierrez was running 17th with Jones 19th. While each of them continued to gain some positions as the race went on, Jones’ race suddenly came to an end with 10 laps remaining due to an oil pressure issue.
As for Gutierrez, he crossed the finish line in 14th position after starting the race from the 21st place in the grid.
The team will be back in action in two weeks time for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course from July 28 to 30.
What they had to say:
Esteban Gutierrez - #18 Unifin Honda
“It was a very difficult weekend but in another way it was quite positive because the gap with the guys in front has been improving race by race. We saw here that we had good potential in qualifying, unfortunately I had the crash which was a big reset for us because coming into the warm-up with a new car I was not feeling completely 100%. We had to make some adjustments for the race. We fell back a little bit with the crash in qualifying but looking at the pace, looking at how the race went on, we can take some positives from that. I really want to thank the team because it was a big job to build up the car. I appreciate all their effort and all their work. Today the car was really good and everything was working well. To put together a car from scratch and to put it on the track and to have everything running well, it’s quite challenging so thank you to them.”
Ed Jones - #19 Boy Scouts of America Honda
"It was a frustrating day. In the first stint, we were picked up quite a few spots passing cars and I feel like we had the pace to be in the Top 6. We got unlucky by the caution and that’s what sent us to the back. We tried to gamble a bit for rain but that didn’t work out. At the end of the day, we had an oil line issue so it wouldn’t have worked out anyway. It was frustrating, but it was good to see that we had a lot of potential and we’ll try to carry that forward to Mid-Ohio.”