Former Formula One driver Esteban Gutierrez was extremely impressive on his debut weekend in the Verizon IndyCar Series with Dale Coyne Racing with the Mexican having been drafted in to drive the No.18 Honda in place of the injured Sebastien Bourdais at the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Lear.
In race 1 in Detroit on Saturday, Gutierrez who up until Friday had never driven an IndyCar, started from 17th place on the grid and that is where he finished the race having completed 69/70 laps.
In race 2, Gutierrez made massive progress. Starting the race from 19th place on the grid he finished the event in 14th place on lead lap. Speaking following the race he stated:
It was quite an experience. Two days of racing, two days of qualifying, one after the other. It was tough. It was a challenge to come here with no testing, straight into the car with two short practice sessions on one of the most physical tracks on the calendar. Two days in a row racing 70 laps – it was quite an experience, and an eventful race that we had today with good chances. I want to say thank you to all the team, all the crew. Fantastic experience. I really loved the experience this weekend, we have fantastic mechanics and engineers that supported me and helped me get comfortable with the car and all the procedures. It was pretty special and I’m hopefully looking forward to more.
Gutierrez will make his oval debut this weekend with the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway which takes place on Friday/Saturday.