Coyne Carrying Momentum Into Long Beach But Have Humble Expectations

Bourdais' best finish in Long Beach to date was a sixth place in 2015.
 Bourdais' best finish in Long Beach to date was a sixth place in 2015.

Dale Coyne Racing head into the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this weekend off the back of Sebastien Bourdais’ victory at the Verizon IndyCar Series season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg last month.

Despite the victory the teams expectations remain humble for this weekend’s race as they are aware they face stiff competition from their rivals.

At the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg, Bourdais carried Sonny’s BBQ as his primary sponsor, this weekend however he has primary sponsorship from local Long Beach excavation company Trench Shoring Company on the No.18 Honda.

Speaking ahead of the race this weekend, the Frenchman commented by saying:

I’ve mostly always done well at Long Beach, although looking at my results there the last few years, they were not necessarily what they could have been for different reasons. It’s a circuit that I very much enjoy driving on, like any street circuit to be honest. I think it suits my driving style quite well. If we find the right balance on the car, I think things can go well for us this weekend. We’re always aiming to be in the top five because from there anything can happen. I know people will ask if we can win again this weekend at Long Beach, well, we didn’t expect to win in St. Petersburg. That said, for us it’s more a question of proving our potential versus getting that ultimate result. Yes, winning was a great bonus for everyone on the team, but we also want to validate everything we’re doing. At St. Petersburg, we didn’t have the fastest car but we had potential and that’s what I take away from that race and it’s what motivates me as we move forward with this program.

Ed Jones is looking forward to the race this weekend having finished the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg in 10th place and speaking ahead of the Toyota Grand Prix of St Petersburg, the reigning Indy Lights champion commented by saying:

I’m really looking forward to the second round of the season. St. Pete was such a good experience for me. I think I was more comfortable in the end than I thought I was going to be. It was a great result as well. We built even more on that at the Barber Test so all in all I think we made a lot of steps forward. I know a lot more what to expect when I get to a race weekend after what I learned at St. Pete and I can’t wait to bring that experience to Long Beach, work on that and improve from there. I’ve been to Long Beach once before, in 2015, and I won there in Indy Lights. It was too bad that Indy Lights didn’t race there last year. Long Beach is in my top two favorite events that I’ve done, so I really can’t wait to get back there. It’s always a great atmosphere, a great circuit and racing in California is always nice.

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