Bourdais Just Misses Top-10 in Rain-Shortened Detroit Grand Prix Race 1

The ENEOS-sponsored Dale Coyne Racing team took part in what was a rain-shortened IndyCar Race 1 in Detroit on Saturday. Sebastien Bourdais finished 11th in his #18 Team SealMaster Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan entry, while Santino Ferrucci place 19th in his #19 Cly-Del Manufacturing Dale Coyne Racing Honda.

Race 1 was shortened from 70 laps to 75 minutes (43 laps) due to severe weather at the start of the race. Sebastien Bourdais used his considerable skill in the wet, and eventually a dry track, to move from 16th place, where he qualified, to finish 11th on the 2.35-mile, 14-turn Belle Isle temporary street circuit. The race was declared “wet,” so drivers started on rain tires in a single file. Bourdais quickly moved into the top-12 in the wet. As the track began to dry the team pitted on lap 19 for fuel and black primary Firestone tires.

“In a short race like this it’s tough to make anything happen. It was really difficult in the wet. I struggled to keep the rear tires together,” Bourdais said. “We were going to pit early and sure enough the yellow came out right when we were deciding what to do, so we missed the shot. After that, everyone went to slick tires. I made up one or two spots. There were a couple of mistakes and we recovered to 11th. There just wasn’t enough time to make much happen. The cars in front were doing a good job. I felt I was a bit faster at times, but not enough to make moves. Not the greatest day, not the worst day. We’ll keep working on the SealMaster #18 and see what we can do tomorrow.”

Fast Facts:
  • Bourdais is contesting his 14th NTT IndyCar Series season ,and second season with Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan.
  • The 2019 Detroit Grand Prix Race 1 was Bourdais 195th NTT IndyCar Series start and 12th Detroit Grand Prix.
  • In 12 Detroit GP races Bourdais has three top-10 finishes with two wins (2016 Race 1 and 2015 Race 2). He has qualified in the top-10 four times, with a best starting position of sixth in 2015.
  • In 195 career IndyCar starts, Bourdais has won 37 races (sixth all-time) and captured 34 pole positions (seventh all time).
  • Bourdais earned 19 points today and is now 12th in the championship standings with 143 points.
  • He has two top-5 finishes including a season high third at Barber Motorsports Park (finished fifth at COTA).
  • He has finished 11th three times: Detroit Race 1, Long Beach and the INDYCAR Grand Prix.
  • Bourdais finished 24th in the season opener at St Petersburg (non-team related issue ended his race) and 30th in the Indy 500.
  • Bourdais is the only driver to win four consecutive IndyCar championships (2004-07).
  • Bourdais, 40, is a native of Le Mans, France but resides in St Petersburg, FL.

Next Race:

Round eight of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series will be the Detroit Grand Prix Race 2, Sunday, June 2 on the Belle Isle temporary street circuit.