Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais in the No.18 SealMaster Honda was left extremely frustrated with how his Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach panned out on Sunday.
The Frenchman was penalized after race control deemed that he had crossed over into the pit-lane while overtaking Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon and and he was spun around late in the race and having started the event from ninth place and finished the event in 13th.
Speaking following the race, Bourdais commented by saying:
“It was such a frustrating day. Full attack, really good car, the SealMaster Honda No. 18 was really hooked up. I had a pretty good feeling in the warm up and the conditions stayed the same for the race. It was a tough call to start on Firestone blacks (primary tire), but I was confident it was the right thing to do as long as I could hold my position at the start and that is exactly what happened. Thankfully, the start was stretched, so I wasn’t under attack until I was up to speed. Then I really started to push hard because I could tell the guys on red tires (alternative tires) were in conservation mode. So, I started to think this could be a pretty good day. I passed a bunch of cars, and when I got to (Scott) Dixon that is when I held station. He was driving really well. He had the pace because he had saved his tires. We got to the first pit sequence and Dixon, I am sure, short filled and jumped (Will) Power. We stayed on schedule and put on red tires, and at that point, it looked like the race was coming our way. Clearly, (Alexander) Rossi was on a different planet, but other than him we were right there. I got Dixon on the restart and Race Control deemed that a violation. I thought that was interesting because I am not quite sure what I was supposed to do. I was committed. There was room and he didn’t see me, so he came down on me and pushed me into the pit lane. If you get forced into the pit lane, I am not sure it is your responsibility. So, I got rather upset, so I passed him right back. I was pretty happy about that. Then we were just cruising. Unfortunately, as a group, we took a chance to stay out too long and then it went yellow. Race Control could have waited a couple seconds before closing the pits, but they didn’t and we went to the back where we had to race idiots. I was racing (Charlie) Kimball side-by-side and he gives me no room, and he bent both of my toe links on the right side. It was pretty much game over from there. I made a mistake because of it trying to pass him again later into Turn 9. The car wouldn’t turn anymore. Then, in the next corner, Jordan King felt like a hero and took us out. After that, I had to deal with another idiot, Matheus Leist, who tried to crash both of us a couple of times. There really wasn’t much to salvage after that. It’s really disappointing. The car was good. I drove the wheels off it. Passed a bunch of guys and we have nothing to show for it.”
Zachary Claman DeMelo in the No.19 Paysafe Honda started the race from 21st place and was classified in 23rd place having been forced to retire from the race following contact. Speaking following the race, the Canadian commented by saying:
(What happened): “I was trying to fuel save, I braked a little bit too late and I overcooked the corner and hit the Turn 9 wall. It’s unfortunate because I think we had a good strategy and I think we would have moved up a bit at the end. The start of the race wasn’t too bad, it wasn’t great, but I just tried to stay out of trouble. I needed to stop a little early because I flat-spotted my front tires on the first lap so the Paysafe Car kind of difficult to drive until we had our first stop, but after that, it was going well, up until I hit the wall.