Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais in the No.18 SealMaster Honda was left disappointed after what looked like a a perfect day for the Frenchman.
Bourdais led Monday’s race for a considerable amount of time time before the rain returned to Barber Motorsports Park. Bourdais opted to stay out on dry weather tires until the closing stages of the race and eventually pitted for fresh grey walled wet Firestone tires and as a result he finished the race in fifth place just ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon having started the race from third place.
Bourdais heads to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next month, the scene of his crash last season season which ruled him out of the Indy 500 last year in third place in the championship on 119 points.
Speaking following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, Bourdais said:
It was just a tough day for the SealMaster Honda No. 18 team. It was looking perfect. We executed the plan to perfection. I started on scuffed Firestone red (alternate) tires, so we had a lot of tire degradation, but were still able to save more fuel than almost everyone. Josef (Newgarden) went for the push and it looked like we were still going to beat him because he pitted the second time and we got ahead. I had enough fuel to finish, but unfortunately, Mother Nature decided to open the skies and there wasn’t anything we could do about that. We tried to stay out and it bit us. On top of that, when we put on the wet tires, I don’t know what happened but the car was diabolical. I couldn’t do anything. I barely kept Scott (Dixon) behind me. I gave it my best shot, the guys did a good job, but it wasn’t enough. Everyone is executing perfectly. Unfortunately, you can’t predict what the weather is going to do, so you have to make a call one way or the other and we were on the wrong side of the fence today. The good news is we finished fifth and keep putting ourselves in position. Our pace is good and we are in the championship mix.