AJ Foyt Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais in the No.14 ROKiT Chevrolet and his teammate Dalton Kellett in the No.4 K-Line Insulators Chevrolet endured a difficult qualifying session for Sunday’s penultimate race of the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca where Bourdais will start the race from 21st place with a time of 01:11.9776s and speaking following the action he said:
It started off pretty good yesterday. I thought the car was seemingly in the window, just needed a bit of grip and a bit less understeer. It seemed like there was potential from the work we did at the (simulator) deal. At least it correlated pretty well, the feel behind the wheel was very similar. Then we went back out this morning and picked up a massive amount of understeer which was really strange. Put the reds on and it didn’t really fix anything, so made very little changes for this afternoon because for us the car has gone fairly oversteer between cold and higher track temps and sure enough we got loose on entry and really never recovered the front grip that we had in the center of the corners so it became a very difficult car to drive. Unfortunately it’s nowhere near good enough, so yeah, very disappointed.”
“Not an easy session for us overall. It was obviously a scramble to recover from that hit in practice and the guys did a good job getting the car fixed up. Luckily it wasn’t too much damage and they were able to turn that car around quickly, so that was a good job by them. We tried to gamble and do reds-reds (tires) because we felt like without having the experience on reds from practice that would be a good move just to get some more time and see how those tires behave. The overall grip felt like it never came in and it was just kind of sliding around the whole time on the first set and then the second set, the same thing. Kind of loose in, quite a bit of understeer mid-off and kind of backed it off a bit to just put a lap together, but it just never really felt like the temps came up. Towards the end of the stint after the checkered going through (turn) 10, it felt like we were finally getting some load in the wheel, so maybe we could have gone a lap shorter on the first stint to do four on the second run probably would have been a better idea, but hindsight is 20/20. So we obviously have some work to do in the race but we’ve shown that we could have good race pace. Qualifying is still our crux, but we’ll have to make something happen in the race tomorrow.