Dale Coyne Racing’s Pietro Fittipaldi returned to Verizon IndyCar Series track action on Tuesday as a full field test session took place at the Mid-Ohio sports car course ahead of next weekend’s Honda Indy 200 round 13 of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.
The Brazilian will make his return to the series after braking both is legs in an accident during qualifying for the Six Hours of Spa earlier this summer.
In his final race for the team, Canadian Zachary Claman DeMelo who was filling for Fittipaldi in the No.19 Paysafe Honda came home in 14th place at his home race, the Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday and speaking following the event he said:
It was a fun race, we had quite a bit of yellow today and I think that helped us with our pit strategy. “I let the race come to us, and I didn’t take any unnecessary chances in my #19 Paysafe car. A lot of people had different issues and I stayed out of trouble and it led to a decent finish. It’s been a fun season and I want to thank Dale Coyne Racing and Paysafe for giving me the opportunity to do these nine races with them this year. Now I get to cheer on Pietro (Fittipaldi) when he comes back for the next race.”
It was a disappointing race for Sebastien Bourdais in the No.18 Team Mouser/Molex Honda as he came home in 19th place and speaking following the race he said:
“It was a tough weekend all around for the Mouser Electronics/Molex team. I thought we had something pretty good in qualifying that could help us accomplish the usual good starting position in Toronto, but I wasn’t comfortable enough with the conditions (wet track) to challenge the car for the one lap. I didn’t do a good job, we didn’t make it through and that put us at the back of the field. We tried something for the warmup this morning and the car was far worse than it had been. So, we un-winded that and threw a Hail Mary at it for the race, but the car still wasn’t quite there. It was OK on the Firestone red (alternate) tires, then we made a couple of changes during the first stop and put black (Firestone primary) tires on. As soon as we put on the blacks, the car became extremely catchy, snappy and unpredictable. I made a couple of mistakes where I almost crashed, then I got into Turn 1 and I have no idea what happened. It felt like I didn’t really slow down. The car started to crab and go sideways under braking and from there I couldn’t recover. I went backward into the tires, not bad enough to put us out of the race, but bad enough that I had to come in and change the rear wing. We lost two laps, and from there it was just about collecting data and bringing it home. It was just a very disappointing weekend. I really wanted to do a lot more for the Mouser Electronics, Molex guys, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be this weekend.”