Watkins Glen, NY (September 3, 2017) – The Dale Coyne Racing drivers didn’t have the race they were anticipating at the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen on Sunday with Ed Jones taking the checkered in 13th and Sebastien Bourdais registering the fastest lap of the race on his way to a 17th place finish.
With a 50% chance of rain in the forecast, the engineers and drivers had some tough decision making to do regarding the car set up prior to the start of the race.
When the race was declared a wet race for the start, the team didn’t have a choice but to first go out on wet tires. However, with the track quickly drying nearly everyone, including Bourdais and Jones, headed to pit lane at the end of the first lap for a set of Firestone slick tires.
Following that first stop, Bourdais found himself 10th with Jones 15th. With some drivers on a different pit stop strategy, Bourdais ended up 15th and Jones 19th following their second pit stops at the end of Lap 15.
Both drivers enjoyed battles with their competitors as they tried to make their way up the field. Bourdais would get as high as sixth prior to his last scheduled pit stop on lap 45. However, that’s when things took a turn for the Frenchman as he was caught up in a Josef Newgarden incident exiting pit lane.
With Newgarden fighting with his teammate exiting the pits, he would end up hitting the guard rail and bouncing back onto the track. In a reaction to what was happening in front of him, Bourdais slightly touched the brakes but with a slippery pit exit and cold tires, he hit the back of the Newgarden car and had to return to pit lane for a new front wing.
With nothing left to gain in terms of on track positions, Bourdais went on to register the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:23.9166.
In the meantime, Jones who had a car set up for wet conditions, had made his way up to 13th, where he would cross the finish line
After three weekends in a row of racing, the Dale Coyne Racing team will get one weekend off before heading to Sonoma Raceway for the season finale Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma on September 17.
What they had to say:
Sebastien Bourdais - #18 UNIFIN Honda
“(About the incident with Newgarden) I was going to be pretty high myself exiting pit lane but I think I was going to be OK. Where Newgarden hit he bounced off and there was nowhere to go. I had a slight reaction, like you do, and I’m sure TK (Kanaan) had the same thing. Because of what’s happening in front of you, you just touch the brakes and you’re on cold tires so there’s not much you can do. I knew the race was over from that point. It’s a disappointment because we drove a really good race, we had a really good first pit stop but then we lost some positions. It’s a big fight out there. I could pass but I was going to run out of push to pass really quick. I did the best I could but I couldn’t save it there exiting the pits. We were quick, I did the fastest lap of the race but it’s just a shame we couldn’t finish better.”
Ed Jones - #19 Boy Scouts of America Honda
"It was a tough race. The conditions didn’t go as we thought they would. We pit on the first lap for slicks and we were set up for rain so we were at quite a disadvantage which made it tricky. I thought we would still be on for a decent result but it wasn’t meant to be. I ended up at the back of the field after the second pit stop as some drivers were on a different strategy and it was an uphill battle from there. It’s a bit frustrating but I feel like I drove pretty well and I had some good racing.”
Sébastien Bourdais en français
« (Sur l’incident avec Newgarden) Newgarden a rebondit sur le mur à la sortie des stands et j’étais derrière lui. J’ai légèrement mis les freins et avec les pneus froids je n’avais pas grand choix et je l’ai frappé par derrière. C’est une réaction normale a ce qui se passe devant toi, je suis certain que Kanaan a fait la même chose. Je savais que c’était la fin de la course pour nous à ce moment-là. Ce qui est très décevant car nous avions quand même eu une bonne course. J’ai fait de mon mieux. Nous étions rapides, j’ai même enregistré le tour le plus vite en course. C’est dommage qu’on n’ait pas pu faire mieux côté résultat. »