Bourdais Closes 2019 IndyCar Season with His Best Finish at Laguna Seca
The final event of the 2019 IndyCar race season concluded with mixed results for the ENEOS-sponsored Dale Coyne Racing team at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on September 22, 2019. Sebastien Bourdais was dealing with neck pain but moved up from 19th to 7th in the #18 Team SealMaster Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan entry, while teammate Santino Ferrucci made contact with another car and ended his race early in the #19 Cly-Del Manufacturing Honda.
After tweaking his neck during Friday’s practice, Bourdais drove with significant pain on race day, but continued his fight to win. Early on he found a solid groove and was often the fastest car on track, using his speed and talent to pass and improve his positioning. He was praised for his performance, given his circumstances, making him the biggest mover of the race. This was Bourdais’ best finish at Laguna Seca in three races, surpassing an eighth place finish in his last start there back in 2004.
“It was a wonderful way to finish the season, and one heck of a race for us,” Bourdais explained. “After finding my groove, we started to show our pace, and gained a lot of positions throughout the race. A really positive note to end, going up to seventh in a straight-up fight, which we’ll take with us into 2020 as we look for more success.”
After a near perfect season, the NTT IndyCar ‘Rookie of the Year’-hopeful Santino Ferrucci ended his race early on a Lap 49 restart when he made contact with Takuma Sato. Ferrucci had started 12th on the grid, moving up to ninth at one point and had settled back to 12th when the incident occurred.
“We were having a good race but I forgot to put the brake bias back to the rear on the restart,” Ferrucci said. “Going into Turn 1 I locked the fronts and knew I was going to hit Sato, so tried to hit him square to minimize the damage, but sadly I ended up with most of it. It was my mistake. Looking back on the season, we did exceptionally well. It’s unfortunate this was the only mistake I made all season. Not the way I wanted to end, but overall we’ve had a great year and we can be proud of that.”
Bourdais finished the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season in 11th place in the championship standings with 387 points, scoring nine top-10 finishes. Ferrucci ended third in the Rookie of the Year Championship and 13th overall, including the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year honors in his first ever oval race.
The Dale Coyne Racing team will now take a break before getting back to work for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series.